Before we left for this trip, I was lying in bed thinking to myself: "I just finished student teaching, I'm graduating from college, AND I'm heading Rwanda for the second time...Who do I think I am!?". I feel so incredibly blessed to be who I am, despite that not always ringing true. For all of the darkness life sprinkles in, this trip is proof that there is abundant opportunity to experience the light, too. I think this theme permeates the human experience, but it is especially true in Rwanda.
I feel so beyond blessed that we all made it here safely with all luggage and all smiles. Our first meal as a village in Rwanda was magical! Using the last trip in 2016 as a checkpoint for my personal growth has allowed me to see how much has changed. I am extremely grateful for the changes I can observe and feel within myself and how I interact with the world and others. This growth would not be without my experiences in this remarkable country.
Seeing our brother and guide, Eric, when we stepped out of the airport was something truly magical. It felt like a homecoming for all of us, with the golden hour shimmering all over the hills behind the waiting drivers who were holding signs with various names on them. Eric, if you see this - thank you for taking such good care of us always. We will always find ways to take care of you, too. :)
Being at a new location for our hostel is interesting. It feels the same although it is on the other side of Kigali. It's time to head to bed now so I can rest my airplane-scrunched bones. Much love to everyone at home!
Lilly Inglut is a pre-service middle and high school English teacher with a focus on the arts and community-based learning at SUNY Buffalo State. She will continue on to receive her Master's in English Education after studying the outcomes of restorative circle training in local schools. Lilly has lived in Buffalo (Lackawanna) her entire life and is committed to her WNY community whether it is via her teaching, studying, or serving delicious meals at a local brewery downtown. Lilly is extremely grateful to have the opportunity to be returning to Rwanda for the second time since 2016.