Yesterday was a gigantic day in the advancement of my quality of life.
I made a friend.
Rita was introduced to me by the Public Affairs Officer at the Embassy because she has participated in some Embassy initiatives to advance women's initiatives in the STEM field. I contacted her and she invited me to lunch. It turns out she lives very close to me and is the Vice Chair of the university directly behind mine.
Thanks goodness. A friendly, female, young, fluent in English human. Jackpot!
We sat in her (incredibly nice, with running water) home and had lunch. Fries, rice, peas and carrots, and beef. We drank cold apple juice from wine glasses.
Rita works in Kibungo and commutes the 2 hours to Kigali where her family lives. This seems to be really common with the working folk I have met. No one wants their children to go to school in the countryside. So they live with one parent in the city while the other parent commutes several days a week. It was so lovely, and I felt so happy to have a potential true friend. Having one person to chat with, ask questions, and share a meal with is a ginormous plus.
Later in the day I was using the wifi in the library and a student came in with a baby strapped to her back! She saw my happiness and handed me the baby. Her name is Philimone and she is 4 months old. I told the student to call me whenever she goes to the library and I can hold the baby for her while she works!
Baby Philimone and her mom getting their study on...
Outside the library...
After the work day, I ventured out to the Catholic church for dinner. I missed the market day because I was in the office all day. I arrived before the food was ready (its a buffet...common here) and chatted with some folks outside. It turns out one of the staff at the restaurant is a student at my university but she is much higher level than my students will be. I ate boiled bananas in tomato sauce for the first time (surprisingly delicious) and stuffed myself full of more starch. Starch is the name of the game around here.
In other news, Mushu's fan club is growing. He has to go outside to greet the university workers every morning. And the cleaners bring their kids into my house to play with him. He's a great sport. And is probably handling this life change better than I am.
The neighbor kids also come to see Mushu through my gates.
A new friend, a good meal, a happy cat, and a baby snuggle. These things make all the difference in my life satisfaction. I'm looking at the small things, and the small things are bringing me great joy.
walk slow. xoxo.