Rwanda is not only country number 32 for me but also my first time in Africa. A new country and a new continent – which means I’ve now been to 4/7 continents. 3 more to go! (These are the things I keep track of in life.)
Travelling to Africa was different for me. Normally, I don’t mind travel days. Maybe I’m just getting older. Or maybe it’s the middle seat on 2 8+ hour flights. But things that normally don’t get on my nerves were irritating me and I felt like it took forever to get there. I’ve never watched so many movies or reflected on my life choices that have brought me to that point in time so much on a flight before.
But eventually, I made it – thankfully meeting Giosue in Amsterdam to fly the last leg together. After getting off the plane, we got in line to pay for our visas. One of the security agents came around asking for everyone’s visa documents. Everyone pulled out their papers that looked way more official than the simple email I got saying I could pick up my visa at the airport. It looked so unofficial I didn’t even bother printing it out, I just took a screenshot.
The security agent seemed a little skeptical until he saw my passport. Turns out, US citizens don’t have to apply for the visa, they just have to pay for it (contrary to everything I read online). God has a funny sense of humor. Also yet another instance where the simple fact of having a US passport making life easier didn’t go unnoticed to me. So I stayed in line to pay for my visa and then got another line to get my passport stamped (because the more lines the merrier). And stamped I did so onward we went.
It was dark when we landed so I couldn’t really see anything when we left the airport. That’s what tomorrow would be for. So Giosue, Fredo (the translator) and I went to grab some food. The next morning I woke up to this:
Rwanda is easily in my top 2 most beautiful countries I’ve visited (close behind – maybe tied with – Slovenia). I’m also very well aware that I am a mountain girl at heart and so being surrounded by a thousand hills probably makes me a bit biased but I don’t even care. Everywhere I looked I wanted to take a picture and the sky. The sky! The sky was gorgeous! It was changing every few minutes and would look completely different which made me take pictures of the same landscapes every few minutes.
Just seeing the landscape, the people and the colors in the daylight, I knew that the next few days would be nothing short of amazing. So I built my rig for the week and was ready to go.