Tuesday, January 22, 2008

We're back!

We are both back in the states, all safe and sound. Our last day in Kigali turned out to be very rewarding. We visited John Peter's former University and spent part of the afternoon with his professors and colleagues. They showed us the new curriculum for the Environmental Health and Safety program, showed us around some of the campus and then took us to lunch in the dining hall for some tasty Rwandan food....rice, potatoes, pasta, green bananas, green vegetable, fresh tomato and cabbage salad, beans, beef and some tasty sauce. You may notice that the first four dishes are all starch, which seems to be a theme of Rwandan food. It was really tasty non-the-less and we had great conversation with the professors. They now want both of us to enroll in the program, or even teach there next January!

We hunted down a 9-volt battery to finish up our turbidity testing (we eat potatoes, but the turbidimeter eats 9-volt batteries). We ended up staying at Alecia's house in Kigali even though she had already left for the states, so Bernie, John Peter and I stayed up watching the movie "Sahara" (terrible movie) and some music videos. We shared a pizza and talked about American culture and John Peter's future at MIT.

On Friday morning we loaded up our 4 check-bags, 3 carry-ons and a walking stick and headed to Kigali International Airport (it has to be International because there are no other airports in the country). We said our goodbyes and thank yous to John Peter and headed into our 39 hours travel adventure.

Upon arrival in Kenya we were told that due to the unrest in Nairobi, KLM did not want its flight crew to overnight there. They told us that we were being routed through Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, just to change crews. Due to this delay, we missed our connecting flight in Amsterdam (by 5 minutes) and ended up spending an extra 8 hours in Amsterdam airport. We made it back to my apartment in Boston around 8pm on Saturday, after having left Alecia's place in Kigali at noon on Friday. Add a 7 hour time difference to that and you have 39 hours of travel. Bernie's flight was at 9am on Sunday, so after 4 loads of laundry, lots of unpacking and repacking, and 5 hours of sleep, we were back in a taxi heading to Logan International. A 2 hour flight and 3 hour bus ride got him back to Wisconsin and a ride on the T got me back to Tang Hall.

Now I am busy downloading GPS points and sorting through our 945 photographs. I will post some of the best ones soon for everyone to see.

All in all we had a wonderful experience and are glad to be settled in one place for a few days at least. I will post a link with pictures soon, but here is one of Bernie, John Peter and myself at the airport.

Kelly and Bernie

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