Visit to Kayenzi
Trip Start Mar 26, 2012
32Trip End Apr 29, 2012
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Where I stayed
After nearly an hour on the dirt road, we arrived in a village whose nanme I can't remember where I recognized the turn toward Remera where the Mundelis lived for 30 years or more, and that I have visited many times. Instead of taking that turn, we continued on toward Kayenzi, where we arrived 15 or 20 minutes later. The rain was still light.
The Mundelis welcomed us into their family home, which had belonged to Mr. Mundeli’s father and where they had started out their married life. They were thrilled to welcome Mr. Franks, our church president to their home. They offered us a soft drink as we sat in the living room and we talked. I ask Mr. Mrs. Mundeli to explain how they came to be here, and about their history in our church. About this time it began to rain hard and steady.
Mr. Mundeli explained that he had heard a church radio broadcast in French while he was at university in Brussels in the 1970s. He began receiving printed publications, and continued receiving them after he returned to Rwanda where he met his future wife and later married. After some years they requested a visit from a minister and were eventually baptized, the first to reach this step in Rwanda. Other came into contact with them either through their example or through a referral from the pastor in charge. They have been in integral part of the history of the Church of God in Rwanda, as they are to this day.
They asked Mr. Franks about his story, and he was happy to explain. He learned about poverty and hard work during his youth in a family of share-croppers in Arkansas. The Mundelis were fascinated to hear this story. Africans don’t often think there can be challenging circumstances in the United States, which seems to them to be a sort of earthly paradise where all is perfect or nearly so.
We took so photos to help us remember the occasion. The Mundelis expressed heartfelt thanks Mr. Franks for coming all the way to their home. Mr. Mundeli shared a Rwanda proverb to the effect that travel must come from the heart, in other words we don’t disturb ourselves to strenuous travel unless the goal is deeply important to us. They thanked him for showing his concern and love for them by making the long trip; the first time ever that an association president has come to Rwanda and what is more all the way to their home.
We decided to head back to Kigali under a driving rain. Mrs. Mundeli rode with us; her husband would follow in a bush taxi. They will be spending the night in Kigali so that they can accompany us early tomorrow morning on one of the most amazing experiences one can have in the world at this time.
Mr. Franks and I had dinner at a pleasant Italian restaurant called Sole Luna, a short walk from Chez Lando. The pizzas are excellent and the view of the night lights of Kigali is quite beautiful.
We will go to bed early and hoping to sleep as well as possible, trying not to dwell on what we’ll be doing tomorrow, when, God willing, all four of us will travel north to the Volcanoes National Park and hike up the forested mountains to the domain of the elusive and endangered mountain gorilla.