Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Home Sweet Home

After 26 hours of travel, Ally and I made it home safely. I have been home for about a week now and I’m still trying to get my feet back on the ground. I wrote the following in my journal while waiting for my flight in Brussels:

Ally and I rode to the airport in the center truck driven by Jean Baptiste. I choked back tears as I took one last look at the Kigali skyline. The place I called home for the past 7 months would become a small dot on the ground in a matter of hours and I tried not to think about it. Even as I sit in Brussels Airport, I’m tearing up. I won't see buses packed with people so tightly that people have to crouch forward and angle their bodies like acrobats to fit; only to file out and pile in when the person in back has to get out. I won't hear the excessive honking of car horns substituting for breaks. I won't be around the smiling faces of my boys or hear their English improve every day. I won't be able to hang out with my friend Willy after work and talk about America, the world, or any other topic he has questions about. Each piece forms my own Rwanda. It was my world and in one day of travelling, everything will change.

Everything has changed. My mind often wanders to Rwanda. I find myself absentmindedly calculating the 6-hour time difference and realize I no longer need to add hours, but subtract in order to get the time in Rwanda.

We left in the midst of big changes at the center and although I know I did the best I could in the time I was there, it is still difficult to walk away. I do find consolation in the fact that two amazing volunteers arrived to take our places and continue our work. Bret and Dorota are working hard as we speak to make sure the center continues to progress forward.

Although I have left Rwanda, the stories of the boys at Les Enfants de Dieu continue. You can follow along with Bret and Dorota on their blog called B,D and the Boys. Thank you to everyone who has followed my blog over the past 7 months. You love and support means more to me than you will ever know. It was one wild ride and an experience that I will hold in my heart forever. 


Dorota said...

Great post, as always! Your blog has been a wonderful companion and has prepared me for our time in Rwanda. Bret and I will do all we can to continue the amazing work you have done. Rwanda, Kigali and EDD miss you a great deal! Love, D+B+Boys

Liz said...

Welcome home Elena. What a wonderful experience you have had. The boys have benefited from all you have done. I'm sure that they will miss you as much as you miss them. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I have enjoyed reading your blog.