Jet lag in the heat of a late morning sleep is hard. But, every day I sleep more and more reasonably. My friend Damas picked me up from the airport on the night that I arrived. It was very, very good to see him after so long and so personal a correspondence over skype for the past year and a half. It was very good to hug this person that matters to me both personally and professionally.
Upon arrival, Dinah, a lady who works at the guest house, had made a delicious dinner of stewed vegetables (peas, squash of some variety, potoatoes, and green beans or something else that was squishy) in a spiced sauce served over rice. This alongside Rwandan tea. It was just what I needed to kickstart my poor digestive system. After this I was introduced to the others that work here, Elie and Evode, the men of the house, though Agnes, the other woman who works here had already gone to sleep. We spoke for a while in the living room and then went outside to the patio where all of the other guests were sitting. There is Sofia from Russia, Heike and Martin from Germany/Austria, Katie from California, Archie from New York, and Kixsy the German Shepard.
Now, Kixsy is an older Shepard that was found the day before by Heike and Martin on the street after almost being hit by a car. She is dirty and starving, anemic and anxious, and covered with ticks and fleas. She also recently had puppies. This kind couple have been bringing her back to health. While I didn’t take a photo of her at the time, a day and a half later here is a photo of her. She is gaining weight and looks a great deal better. As it turns out, the person with the most experience with dogs is me and so I have quickly become caretaker number 3 after the other two because they go to work early in the morning. This is especially important because Dinah and Agnes are afraid of dogs and during the last deluge common in the rainy seasons, Kixsy broke her collar and is now roaming free on the compound.
This is also especially important because the last three guests of the compound are three white rabbits. They are let out of their cage in the morning and forage over the compound all day long. So far, Kixsy has shown exactly zero interest in these rabbits, but as she comes back to health she may show more interest when someone turns their head, as she did with Sofia cheese sandwich last night…that was sad but it’s hard to be mad at a starving dog.
Heike and Martin are hoping to give Kixsy to a Rwandan family to be their guard dog but so far haven’t had much long and are increasingly attached to Kixsy anyway. They are starting to consider what it would take to ship her back to Austria when they leave in a few months.
Anyway, do not be concerned for me everyone, I have instant friends of scholarly and Rwandan origins, I live on a compound with a nightwatchman, a big locking gate, even my room locks, and a vicious guard dog (yeah, right…maybe in two months she could be). But, if you are still concerned, remember that you have a higher chance walking out of your door in Boston, Houston, New York City, Albany, and any other city and being murdered than I have of being murdered here. Crime is very low. This may have something to do with the fact that everywhere there aren’t RDF (Rwandan Defense Force or Rwandan army) members standing around with assault rifles there are police standing around with assault rifles. The country is secure and safe!