And then you fall back in love.
It only takes a couple of days – a couple of smiles, a couple of “Hi Maggie’s” when you’re in the middle of nowhere, a startling sunrise or star-scattered night sky, and a couple of fun exchanges in the market to give you a smack and get you back into the swing of things.
It’s been about a month now since I found myself in a rut. I found work exasperating because the more involved and passionate I got about my project, the less I wanted to accept that setbacks occur more frequently here or that people you work with are not quite as passionate as you. I hated being a novelty. I wanted black skin so I could walk down the street anonymously. News from home served to make apparent how far away I am from those I love - despite internet, telephones, blogs, letters, newspapers, email...
I was in a rut – I tried climbing out of it at first, but then felt content to sit back and wallow in feeling sorry for myself. I’m now climbing out. I still find the gimme gimme game frustrating. I find the ungratefulness of the culture a wall I feel my head banging against. I’m tired of being treated as a plastic human being who can be talked about and laughed at but not have their feelings considered. But now, I’m remembering I didn’t come here because it’d be breeze. And that’s so far from what suits me anyway. And I chose to come here and be the outsider. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. And culture (what does one mean by culture? I hate that as an excuse) really is different. Just because somebody doesn’t say thank you doesn’t mean they aren’t grateful. And if people don’t work as hard as you do – then face up to it, it’s going to happen again, be it London, Ryde, or Ouagadougou.
I’m back in love with Rwanda.