I awoke this morning in a bed tented with a mosquito net, listening to birdsong unlike any I've heard before and thought, "My God, I'm in Africa!" What a gift I've been given! It's an amazing thing that I'm able to step onto a plane in snowy, slushy Toronto and within hours traverse an ocean, stepping off the plane into the bright sunshine and warmth of another continent. I am truly one of the worlds most fortunate when I consider the percentage of the world's population that will ever be afforded the same opportunity. I am grateful and eager to experience Rwanda.
I was excited to compare the New Year's Eve traditions in Kigali to American traditions. I'm not sure I saw the Kigali celebration, though I heard it! A few of us went to a club around 10:30 pm and there were very few people there. We returned to the hostel and joined a card game with people from Amsterdam, Denmark and later, Kenya. What a cool thing, to party with friendly strangers from around the world on New Year's Eve! At midnight, we toasted the new year and continued the game. We laughed a lot, then turned in for the night around 1am. Shortly thereafter, the sounds of celebration roared up from the valley below. Loud thumping music and energetic cheers continued until 5am! Then, around 7am, the soothing songs from the worship service gently floated up and continued throughout the morning. It was simply delightful!