We are in Rwanda!
I am grateful for safe travels and the beauty of Rwanda/Africa!
To be honest, my senses are overloaded by the beauty of Rwanda/Africa. I can’t quite put everything it into words yet.
Some of my initial observations include the radiance of the sun, the kindness from our hosts, and the cleanliness of Kigali, the capital city.
First, friends and family (my parents are Nigerian) have shared how Africa is 'different' and 'unique,' but now I understand for myself. The sun, my favorite source of inspiration, is simply different here. The way the sun hits your skin and speaks to the soul is unique and unlike anything I’ve felt in Georgia, Missouri, California, or any other place I’ve been.
Next, our host Eric, a 34 year-old Rwandan native, is a beautiful humyn soul. He and another gentle humyn, named Noel, helped us load our bags in a van and took us to our hostel. Eric has a sunny spirit and smiles often! My kind of friend! I can tell his knowledge and passion for his home is vast and he appreciates sharing it with us. I will learn plenty from Eric and his story.
Last, I noticed how pristine the city of Kigali. Drew had told us about the governments efforts to maintain a pristine country by taking proactive steps such as banning plastic bags from entering the country (you can get fined up to $6 dollars if you bring them into the airport). On the way to our hostel, I could not find any trash littered on the streets or sidewalks. This was a major departure from what I saw in NYC during my layover before meeting the group for travel. We can learn a lot from Rwanda and how we care about our country.
Our primary location during our stay in Rwanda is called the Discovery Rwanda Hostel located in Kigali. The hostel is dormitory style. Drew, Alice, Eve, and Liz are faculty (or friends of faculty) and have their own rooms. Students, me included, share two rooms segregated by gender: 4 guys in 1 Room (Andrew, Sean, Willie, and me-Reuben) and 3 womyn (Lizzy, René, Maddie) in another.
This set up is new for me since I had football privilege when I was at UGA and was granted access to suite-style dorms on campus during my first year. These suites included multiple bathrooms and single rooms for 4 or 2 students (shout out to ECV 1512-326 & Rooker-104). Nonetheless, this intimate living seems to be an opportunity to develop deeper relationships with my fellow villagers! I’m looking forward to learning more about their stories.
I have an open mind and heart to whatever is ahead in the journey.
Questions for you?
The Radiant (Rwandan) Sun
Our Primary Home
Views (from the Hostel)
Our First Meal (Veggie/Vegan Friendly)
Reuben Faloughi, M.Ed., is a fifth-year doctoral candidate studying psychology at the University of Missouri (MU). He recently defended his dissertation, which examined the effects of an intergroup dialogue-based diversity and social justice course on students' multicultural development. The course, now required for all MU College of Education students, was heavily influenced by personal experiences in the AFP/Dr. Kahn's drama-based education training, Division I athletics, the Fall 2015 student movement at MU, and other transformational life experiences. Reuben will complete his Ph.D. on internship at the University of Florida and graduate in Spring 2019. For more visit: