Atonement in Muhazi and back to Nairobi
Trip Start Sep 27, 2008
13Trip End Oct 22, 2008
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We arrived about on schedule at a little after 8:30 and met the taxi van from Remera where we turned off the blacktop to the dirt road. It was a pleasure to see Mrs. Mundeli, their daughter Myriam and others from Remera. They had traveled two hours to reach the site. Now we waited for the group from Giti to arrive in two taxi-vans. It takes them about an hour to reach Muhazi. But the vans were late and some people were late to the rendezvous point (not everyone had a watch or an alarm clock). So the group from Remera was late - an hour late.
To fill the time as we waited, I showed those present the video I had made of the summer project we had guided in Jordan and Israel. Afterwards, they had questions about archeology, and the biblical sites we had visited and shown. It was very positive.
Around 10:15 the vans arrived from Giti. We scrambled to get started so that we wouldn't run too late. Flight schedules had dictated that I was going to have to fly out of Kigali in mid-afternoon. A few days back I was notified that the Air France/Kenya Airways flight had been moved even earlier. So I needed to leave Muhazi by 11:30. If everyone had been on time, there would have been no problem. Now we didn't have any extra time.
We started with three hymns in Kinyarwanda, the chorale sang, and I gave some news and then followed right away on the sermon. It was translated phrase by phrase from French to Kinyarwanda by Mr. Mundeli. We finished at 11:45, and I said goodbye to everyone, apologized for having to leave so soon and headed up to the road. On arrival, I found that all three van drivers had left with my car drive to go get some lunch somewhere.... No one's cell phone could get through to them. We figured we knew where they were, the village a couple of miles up the road, but how to get there. The clock was ticking.
Some boys were riding buy on bicycles. Mr. Mundeli stopped them and asked them to take someone quickly to the village on the back of his bicycle. Off they went at a good clip. My little margin for safety was shrinking. We filled the wait time by taking a group photo and chatting. At 12:00 the driver roared up. He asked when I needed to be at the airport. I said 1:00 at the latest. His yelp meant that this was going to be hard. Patrick and James rode with me as we bounced along. Our speed on the dirt road was determined by the potholes. On the blacktop it was determined by police presence. Our driver exchanged signals with drivers coming the other direction to find out what was ahead. A palm-up finger-closing "come on" sign meant "put your foot down, no police in the immediate vicinity." We pulled up at the airport right at 1:00. I handed the driver the fare and moved up into the terminal building. I was stopped at the door to the checking area. The agent looked at my e-ticket schedule and said: "go out, she has closed." Protesting that the flight was still an hour off, I was told "Yes, they close one hour before.' Showing him my frequent flyer card, and suggesting that Air France and Kenya Airway would not be happy if he didn't let me talk to someone, he ignored me a moment and let some South African musicians through. I told him "you're just making me later by not letting me talk to someone." He finally relented and let me through, that hurdle past, there was no problem at all getting checked-in and set to go.
The flight to Nairobi left on time. I was feeling drowsy during the flight, so it went quickly. Now I'm waiting in the Kenya Airways Lounge waiting for my flight to Paris. The sun had set, and I'm enjoying some spicy samosas, curry-filled pastries much enjoyed in Kenya.
Tomorrow morning, if all goes as planned, I should wake up over France.