We had breakfast together and talked a long while debriefing about the Sabbath in Giti, traveling and working in francophone African in general and various other things. We wrapped it up in mid-morning and agreed to head out to lunch at 1:00 pm. We both worked in our rooms preparing for the Passover service and for upcoming events.
At 1:00 o’clock we walked out to the street and haggled with a taxi driver for a fare to take us into town for lunch. I had to walk away once before the driver finally agreed to a fair fare. We drove into Khana Khazana, a very nice Indian restaurant for a lunch of rice, Indian bread and curry. I ordered an order of chapatti which is unleavened bread; which will come in handy in the next days. It was a very nice lunch.
We had our leftovers boxed up and gave them to the taxi driver to smooth his ruffled feathers over the fare, and then headed back to the hotel. We spent the next two hours preparing for our 4:00 departure for the Passover which would be celebrated in the little house we’ve used in the past on Lake Muhazi.
Ndeo was at the hotel at 4:00, so we could start on schedule. We drove 45 minutes on paved road, and turned off for the last 15 minutes on a dirt road. It was a beautiful clear day with no rain clouds visible. As we arrived at the shores of the lake, I pointed out the thick stands of papyrus in the water. This lake is connected to the Nile, a long way off, so the same kinds of plants are found in them.
Arriving at our usual lakeside spot at 5:00 pm we found all the members already present. One van had come from Giti and one from Kayenzi. They were waiting and talking quietly for the time to begin. I was struck again by the beauty of the lake and the surroundings; it is a very peaceful place in which to participate in such a meaningful commemoration. We had arranged for the owner to buy enough diesel fuel to keep the little generator running for 3 hours, just to be on the safe side. That would allow us to use electric lights for the evening. Daniel and I checked all the preparations and had a meeting with those who would help with the organization of the ceremony.
We started just after 6:00 pm, which is when the sun sets all year round. On the equator which we’re just slightly below sunrise and setting times hardly change at all through the year. Outside we could hear the rhythm section of frogs in the lake and the full orchestra of insects enlivening the tropical night. The night sounds very different here compared to back home.
Jesus told his disciples to observe the NT Passover annually in "remembrance of Him," and so we did. Daniel and I conducted the ceremony with Mr. Mundeli translating. There were 21 of us. It was as always sobering, yet encouraging event. We finished a little after 7:30, and wished everyone well until we met again on Tuesday for the day we will celebrate then. As we were cleaning up afterwards we noticed a three inch long insect looking just like a leaf who had found his way in the house and was sitting on the wall right behind where we had sat.
The drive home for us was uneventful; we arrived at the hotel at 9:00, and had a quick bite to eat in the barbecue pit. I will turn in promptly tonight.
Tomorrow if all goes as planned we will visit the genocide memorial sites of Ntarama and Nyamata, which Daniel has never seen.
This morning I slept all the way until 07:00, the first time I had a really full night's sleep on this trip; the jet lag is finally abating. About 08:00 I called Daniel’s room to see if he were up yet. No answer. I waited a little longer then went to breakfast by myself, and found Daniel in the restaurant where he’d already been for an hour. He woke up half an hour before I did, having slept about 11 hours, which I was happy to learn. It’s important to keep up with sleep on these long trips, to be able to stay healthy to the end of them. We’ll have some very short nights beyond our control, so it’s especially important to do our part.