Saturday, June 25, 2011

Our Path

Here is a fun exercise for you. Pull out a map and follow our path through eastern and southern Africa.
We started our journey in my village, Kiramuruzi in eastern Rwanda. We traveled south through Kayonza to Rusumu We crossed the border between Rwanda and Tanzania at Rusumu Falls. On the Tanzanian side, we took a taxi to Benako where we waited for three hours for a bus to Kahama. The next morning, we took a bus from Kahama to Mwanza. We spent a day in Mwanza, searching for the office that would sell us tickets for the bus through Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater. We gave up and ended up traveling north to Remati and the Stop Over Lodge near the park entrance gate. There, we organized a safari car to take us through the parks. On the other side of the parks, we stopped briefly for a meal in Keratu, before continuing to Arusha. We spent a day exploring Arusha, before jumping on a bus to Dar Es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania. We got stuck in Dar for one night, but woke up early to take a ferry to Zanzibar Island. We spent one night in Stone Town and the next night on a deserted beach near Paje on the southeast end of the island. Then, we traveled back to Dar and hopped on a plane to Nampula in northern Mozambique. We spent a day and part of the next night in Nampula before getting on an early morning bus for the long ride to Villa Gorongosa in central Mozambique. We stayed two days in a small village in the mountains outside Gorongosa called Murombodzi. We hiked up to Murombodzi Falls. Then, we traveled to Maxixe on the coast in southern Mozambique, took a traditional sailboat across the bay to Inhambane, and a 30 minute matatu ride to the beach towns of Tofo and Tofino. Here, we got stuck. It was paradise on earth. We spent four days on the beautiful beaches of Tofo and Tofino and were sad to leave. Alas, because of time and the approaching end of our trip, we got on a bus to Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. We spent an afternoon in Maputo before taking a short plane trip to Johannesburg and another flight to Rwanda, where our journey ended.
Look at the path you have drawn on the map. We traveled a long way, an incredibly long way, in a short period of time, only three weeks. We gave our trip everything. We put all our energy into it. When we returned to Rwanda, exhausted but enlightened, we looked back at what we had accomplished and recalled our amazing stories. We couldn’t believe it. It seemed surreal, like a dream that had never actually happened. But it did happen, and I am glad it did and we had such an amazing time. I am now in my house alone (Sean has returned to the United States via Europe), letting it all sink in. What a journey! All the things we have seen, all the things that have happened, all the things we have learned about ourselves and the world. Our path is only the beginning; the stories and lessons are following soon.

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