I’m thrilled to have arrived in Kigali for the start of my sabbatical – and to be writing again (yea!) – under a mosquito net (double yea!). The familiarity of this place is comforting and it feels like home. This is certainly thanks to the kindness of my Rwandan friends such as Patrick who greeted me at the airport and arranged for transport to the guest house he so conscientiously manages. He even made sure I had the same room I rented for 3 weeks this past June. I was here with a team of PSU students (including my daughter Arianna), 2 faculty, the chancellor of our campus, one community member, one student’s mom, and the principle of an elementary school. We inhabited most of this compound, turning it into our own cultural exchange center where Rwanda met Happy Valley. It’s not the same without the team here – however, it is much quieter!
I will check in on PSU projects in Kigali for a few days and then head to Panzi Hospital to work on Panzi Foundation USA initiatives and my own research about maternal acceptance and rejection of children born of rape. It will be terrific to be back at the hospital. I have 3 months to accomplish much, reconnect with my Congolese friends, and work even harder to raise awareness in the US about not just tragedy but hope in the DRC. Stay tuned…….!