I had wanted to start this blog a week or so before I left for Rwanda, so I could chronicle my thoughts as I was packing and preparing to leave. But somehow that never happened. So then I thought I would start blogging as soon as I arrived in Kigali, but that hasn't happened either. It is now Saturday and I arrived on Tuesday.
I don't have any grand first impressions of Kigali. It is both an entirely normal place and also unlike anywhere I've ever been before. I realize that's not super articulate and not helpful for readers looking for a tidy explanation, but that's the best I can do.
I am staying in the guesthouse at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, where I will be teaching physics for several months. I have my own room with a nice balcony. I am sitting there now. Evenings here are fantastically comfortable. It is neither cool nor warm. Very close to my balcony is an Episcopal church which seems to have music and singing much of the day and night. I can hear them now, singing and clapping. I am also near a fairly large mosque and can hear calls to prayer. Together, the mosque and the church make an interesting soundtrack.
The last few days have been fairly tiring. One of my bags didn't arrive with me on Tuesday. It made it to the airport yesterday (Friday). So for the first few days I was operating with only half of my stuff. It was also only Friday that I moved into the room I'll be staying in for the next seven months. But I am getting settled in, adjusted to the new time zone, and adjusted to life in Kigali.