Kigali was opaque with night when I landed there. As always, I already envisioned my departure. Airports have this effect on me. They are my hello and goodnight, the place I cross with an exhausted shuffle when I arrive and impatiently want to ditch when I leave. They are miserable, inhuman places, churning people in and out like an automatic dishwasher, offering lattes to the unthirsty and sometimes, warm water in the restroom, if you can figure out that country’s faucet mechanics. But when I travel somewhere entirely new, the airport simply highlights my inability to delay gratification, or in this case, comprehension. In this case, I wanted my trip to Rwanda behind me. I wanted to have seen what was still ahead of me. Like some extraordinary blind date, I knew that Rwanda would be different and frankly, the prospect was terrifying.
To read the the essay, download the app here on iPad’s Overnight Buses magazine.