(Isn't that how all great stories should start?)
I was planning to come to Kigali to help my friend with a workshop she created and was happy to find a fluent in english, easy on the eyes, interesting person to chat with. When we exited the bus in Kigali, it was very hectic in the station. We had formed a bond and he asked me if I wanted to walk with him to meet his sister who could drive me to my friend's house. "Of course!" I responded, free ride and a connection to this cool political family. We walked along the sidewalk and I happily chatted away, watching everything that was happening around me and just being very Jessica.
And then I went SPLAT.
And suddenly I realized I was face first on the concrete, bleeding, and not exactly sure what was happening.
My handsome soldier friend pulled me up and into a school yard gate directly next to us. He disappeared into the school and I franticly tried to assess how much was emotion/embarrassment and how much was actual physical issues/pain. I wiped the blood from my face with a wet wipe while looking into my iPhone camera screen (haha) and then my soldier appeared with a bucket of water and a swarm of little Catholic school children in uniform. Who proceeded to approach me and hug me en mass. It was so cute. I stood bleeding from my face while little children hugged me and a solder tried to clean my feet and hands and face.
(Now that I am ok, this is a hilarious, awesome story.)
Soon nuns showed up and inquired what I am doing in Rwanda and how they could help me. They told me to see a doctor (ya, right) and told the soldier to watch after me (which he already was).
So now there is a soldier, hugging children, and nuns in my story. It just gets better and better.
In the end, I am totally fine. Just dealing with some scratches on my face, scratched glasses, and a horrible headache. I didn't have a concussion and I have a haggle of awesome humans who cared for me, and are still caring for me. I had a great friend with bottles of tylenol to stay with and a nurse friend who I gave a call to. People are checking in on me and it is so nice to know that if I am hurt on the street, Rwandans will come to my rescue (this is not the case in most Asian countries, including China).
Now that I know that I am ok, this story is hilarious. I have a new soldier friend, got hugged by cute little kiddos, and I have a great story about the kindness of the Rwandan people. Even the bucket of water given by the school to a stranger was a great kindness - water is a precious resource.
Tomorrow morning I head back to Kibungo via the same bus station. But don't worry, I will look where I am walking this time.
haha. Can't let me out anywhere.
Here, have some photos for fun....
|the aftermath of letting me loose on the streets of Kigali|
|A text from a student. The most perfect thing ever.|
|selling bananas from a truck|
|Kimironko Market in Kigali|
|grading papers with Mushu in Kibungo on our porch|
|fish brochettes and "chips" = YUM|
|I found a man selling jackfruit from his bicycle! I love jackfruit!|
The event in Kigali has gone super well (more on that later) and I am happy to head back to Mushu in Kibungo for a little relaxation before the insanity of weekend classes starts.
Watch where you are walking. :)
walk slow. xoxo.