These Shoes Were Made for Leaving

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Actually, those particular shoes are being left behind in Rwanda when we hitch a ride to Amsterdam with KLM on Friday night. As a public health service, you understand.

After returning from the Seychelles late Tuesday, we’re now holed up with all our junk in a friend’s apartment in Kigali. We’ve got a few days to kill, mostly waiting to find out just how much money we’ll lose on selling our crappy car in a crappy market (no, the myth that was peddled on us back before we left home that you can buy a used car and sell it for a good price later is just another lie, along with the low cost of living and all the rest). That and closing out our empty bank account is pretty much it on the to-do list. A bit of souvenir shopping, but there’s not a lot to be had in the way of memorabilia here (nope, can’t bring home a baby gorilla) so not sure what we’ll end up with.

Lisa has hurled herself at the first season of the TV show “Homeland” and Lucas scored a couple of luxury car & yacht magazines at Nairobi airport last night, so he’s in jet-setter heaven. Lea has what is probably a mild case of strep throat, so she’s under the weather for a bit, and I’m just exhausted, tired, worn out, finished, wasted, done. Trying to wrap my mind around the thought of being back in Vermont in a few short days; the weather report says we’re coming home to a foot of snow on the ground, which will be great, but also a little overwhelming after six months of high altitude tropics.

Try as I may, there are precious few items to place on the “things I’ll miss” list. In any case, they’re entirely overshadowed by the extensive set of “things I can’t wait to leave behind.” Right now, the toll this has taken on all of us is a bit overwhelming; hopefully the experience and the lessons learned will somehow balance things out through the awesome power of hindsight and the rosy colored glasses of selective memories. “Oh, it wasn’t really that bad, was it now?” Maybe not, maybe not, but it sure wasn’t that good, either.

“Bring out your trash…”

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I’m not sure if he deals with bio-hazard material and body parts as well, or just sticks with the more mundane and pedestrian crap, but this guy plies the sidewalk outside the University Teaching Hospital in Kigali every day collecting astounding amounts of trash. What then happens with it is a mystery — presumably (but not necessarily) he meets up with a garbage truck somewhere every so often to off-load, before heading back for a new round of assorted junk.