well. first off. merry belated christmas. i feel as though i have fallen behind in my blogging, with little to no hope of catching up, in any sort of accurate way. so we will pretend as if the past month or so has not occurred, and we will continue from here. There is much to tell, but to be honest i dont particularly feel up to the task. i dont really even know where to begin. how to sum up my experiences in africa, when i cant even quite grasp them myself.

i am currently sitting bundled in sweaters in the ywam residences in Epe, Holland. It is here that we are visiting with my dad's cousin Carla. We arrived from Nairobi this morning, i barely slept on our red eye, and now i find myself slightly disoriented. Flip flops to winter boots. Slums to quaint villages.

In the past week, i have swam in the indian ocean, and camped outside the masai mara. On December 25th, i woke up in a tent, watched crazy amounts of animals, and then our van broke down in the rift valley. We stood on the side of the road befriending police officers at a check point, holding up a makeshift "merry christmas" sign to passing cars and cattle trucks. If that doesnt feel festive, i dont know what does.

happy holidays.




this is us being happy in rwanda...


and again...
and lots more too.

and now we are leaving tomorrow and i am not so happy.



canned hotdogs = christmas time.

So my mom emailed me the other day that there is snow on the ground in Toronto. Something hard to believe when I spend my days here running about in a sundress and flip flops, trying my hardest not to get a sunburn, this close to the equator. If it wasn't for the fake christmas trees on sale downtown, between leftover halloween masks and canned hotdogs, I would have difficulty believing it at all.

I only have a week and a 1/2 left in rwanda. Christmas will be in kenya. New years in amsterdam. And if how quickly the past three months have gone is any indication, this will be over before i know it. I feel as though it was only last week i stepped through the metal detectors at pearson, as my dad attempted to take photos and was stopped by airport security. It is hard to know where the past few months have gone. Yet in the same vein, it feels like yesterday that i was sitting on the wooden steps down to a frozen dock, ringing in the new year all alone. The lake an expanse of slate and quiet. I had escaped just after sunrise, tiptoeing between my sleeping comrades to make the drive between haliburton and severn bridge. The first morning of 2007 spent speeding down abandoned highways in northern ontario. the radio up and the windows down despite the cold. Where has the past year gone.

I am conflicted on leaving. at the moment kigali is making me feel unbelievably clausterphobic. part of me thinks that this is yet another round of feeling overwhelmed here. Of surveying the work i have done, but having difficulty seeing its affect to the larger picture of this country. Of witnessing the intense poverty here, and wondering if there really is a solution to such a complex sitation. and so i want to run, because i do not know how to process all of this. Four months, and i still cannot. Although i am of the mind that if i were to spend four years here, and i would still have no better grasp on things than i do at the moment. I cannot quite explain it.

On the other hand, perhaps this merely a defense mechanism kicking in. That I intentionally make myself dissatisfied with a place, because i know in reality it is going to be excrtiating to leave. This way, by feeling closed in upon, leaving will feel like a realease. And then when the time comes to go, it will be positive instead of negative.

I think this is all combined with the fact that part of me resents that kathryn is going home. And yet at the same time i don't. Part of me knows that once the novelty of seeing everyonehas worn off, i would wish i was still far far away. I suppose the uncertainty of the next few months is getting to me . And yet i love the uncertain. Perhaps that is the real problem. That life in kigali has become perdictable. even the unexpected ridiculous events, are to be expected. I am ready for a change.

And then i remind myself, when i am jealous of kathryn's soon to be triumphant return to canada, that toronto is not that change that is nee. At this point it is still reverting.

I suppose it is simply a strange time of year to be away from home. And despite my nerosis, it is going to be hard to leave Africa. I am not used to saying permanent good-byes.