It’s been a week since I arrived back home. I’ve takin my last malaria pill, unpacked all my souvenirs, done laundry, and gotten caught up on sleep (and posting all my blogs from the trip).
And…adjusting back is hard. I miss the constant flow of activity. I miss the coffee. I miss people being overly friendly and excited to see everyone, no matter the day or time. And I even miss the dance circles…
This trip has fundamentally changed me. I’ve taken so much back (besides coffee) - the lessons of forgiveness. The sheer joy of sharing a story to eager listeners. The crafters. The polite (but firm!) bartering from the market. I feel motivated to share all these experiences, to compile them into something other than a blog and share it with as many people as possible, but I’m not quite sure how.
I play piano a lot now that I’m back. I have a feeling that my experiences will somehow transform their way into something musical. I can feel my creative juices (that have been stagnant ever since my hectic final semester at school) starting to flow again. I have been tasked with sharing my experiences and stories at the annual Anne Frank Project Social Justice Festival this fall - I feel confident that I will have something amazing to share there.
And this blog has been a lot of fun. Though uploads have been random and VERY inconsistent, the act of writing something every day has helped me process this experience in a much more efficient manner than trying to remember everything through photos. I’m happy I wrote down my thoughts, especially for the moments that I didn’t take photographs, or had feelings that would have been forgotten days later. It stands as a testament to all that I was able to experience and accomplish in the incredible, remarkable country of Rwanda.
I am traveling to Rwanda with the intent of a sponge - I want to absorb as many unique experiences as I possibly can, and bring them back to share with my culture. I am a multifaceted artist, and Rwanda is a treasure trove of valuable experiences to draw inspiration from. As a visual artist, I look forward to seeing unique handmade art, and letting it inspire an artistic vision. As a musician, I look forward to hearing vastly different than what I’m used to, and letting that inspire music from my soul. And as a teacher, I’m looking to see teaching methods different than what I have known. I want to bring these gifts back and share them with my culture.