unaccompanied minor abroad!

well. we knew it was going to be a good trip before leaving canada as we walked up to the klm flight desk at pearson

1. to be asked if we were "unaccompanied minors" (yes, i know our entire families + katie were there to see us off but... do i seriously look twelve?!?)
2. travelling to our final destination of afghanistan.

um. what. (blank slash horrified stares ensued).

however, three days, sleeping in a park in amsterdam, not really sleeping at all, killing hours in nairobi, watching the run way in bujumbura(burundi) lined with local men on bicycles watching the flights come in, and we are finally here in rwanda. NOT afghanistan.

we are living at a guest house in the Kicukiro district in kigali. It has spotty electricity, no fridge, no shower (go buckets!), a toilet we don't know how to flush, and a garbage "pit" in the yard. all apparently par for the course. kathryn and I have decided it will be like a long stint at the cabin. But the house is clean, our roommates are fabulous friendly people who have been more than willing to help show us around, we have a beautiful yard, and a dog named bogo.

it is still an enormous adjustment so far. culture shock is an understatement. but i know this will all take time. i suppose i don't know what i was expecting. perhaps that i might blend in a little better. but i don't. at all.

on our first (overwheming) trip to our local market this market, we were greeted with blank stares (from like one hundred people all at once), and the occasional hissing (not to itimidate... although it did... but to get our attention). however, our second trip out today, alone might i add, has been much better. we even (clearly) found an internet cafe. although the electricity has gone out once, and i'm hoping it wont again.

ulitmately, we have only been here for a day so far and i cannot even think of how to process or record all that i have seen. it is though kigali is life stacked, sandwiched and woven in and amongst itself.

i want to write, photograph, and draw everything all at once.


r&p said...

Hello laura and Katharine. What, you're not in Afghanistan??? And all along I thought......... oh well. ;-) A few days and you have already had a lifetime's worth of memories. How do we send you pictures? You will be in our thoughts and prayers daily. The Lord bless you and keep you both. You're a great scribbler Laura, keep us posted.

r&p said...

Oh, by the way, r%p is uncle renee and aunt pat

sarah said...

That's so funny. Minors. :)

I'm so glad to hear you guys are settling in well and that you have a Bogo. Ha ha. So interesting about the bicycle men too.

Much love. I can't wait to see pictures of it all.

Tristan said...

i was just thinking the other day that you should be able to rent dogs on vacation for company or as part of the fantasy. and apparently africa has beat me to the idea.
good thing you left when you did. I can't afford booze I am so poor so what on earth would we talk about!
hope you're safe and happy,

neen said...

Hi Laura,
I am so proud of you and what you are doing. You certainly don't look like 12. Imagine! Have you got advise about flushing the toilet? Maybe you don't, ugh! Watch out for those market men and children. I found that if I got swarmed with children on my travels, I just started to sing to them in English and that set them back a bit. Have fun and get some sleep. Your Mom and Dad read your blog here at my cottage but was not able to comment yet. Will do when they return home on Sunday.
Love Neen

justmeblueeyes said...

Hoi Laura,
Dit you really try to sleep in a park in Amsterdam?!!

Maybe in December you might want to consider some other options....

Marie said...

Laura! Welcome to Africa my friend:)I'm so happy to hear that you're physically, emotionally and psychologically overwhelmed since it would be no fun if you were bored to tears and reading Archie comic books to pass the time...HA!

Remember that Paul and I are only a short flight away so if you need ANYTHING(!) including a rescue operation out of Afghanistan, we're there:)...seriously!

Our numbers here are:
Marie - +254.710.271.256
Paul - +254.710.746.309

Keep up the blogging and check mine out if you have time...www.africabets.blogspot.com.

Praying for you!!!

naamers said...

LAURA! good to hear some words from you! I was getting worried....

my advice?
1 breath, you can artistically digest africa at your own pace, but i most def know that feeling...

2 most likely the toilet should be flushed by pouring a bucket (or two for big jobs) down.

Also my mom is happy to hear that you are on the ground safe, as am I.

can't wait for more tales of you....

naamers said...
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