I had a great experience traveling back to Musanze from Kigali this weekend. I stayed in Kigali until Monday June 24th to take my fellow Zamura intern and friend Ashley to the airport.
It was dark by the time we said goodbye at the airport, and I took a station. The bus station in Kigali, Nyabagogo, is a very hectic and even chaotic place. Many people were traveling that Monday night, so I was going to have to wait over an hour for my bus to arrive. To even get on the bus at a busy time it is essential that you push and shove, something that I have a difficult time doing.
While waiting amidst the chaos I met a very nice woman, Regina, who explained how she was in charge of several school in Rwanda, and she lived in Musanze during the week. Her bus was leaving about 45 minutes before mine, so we said goodbye when her bus arrived.
I continued to wait alone in the dark parking lot, when people on Regina’s bus started shouting, “Mzungu!” I ran over to see the problem, and people started to explain to me that someone had given up his seat on the bus so that I could get on the bus and sit beside Regina.
Grateful and in disbelief, I asked Regina what had happened. She said to me, “We know that you are a foreigner, and we know that it is not easy for you here. So we have to help you.” I was so incredibly touched by this gesture and by the mentality of the people in Rwanda. Regina and I talked the entire 2.5 hour bus ride back to Musanze. She told me about her life in Rwanda and she even shared with me her story of how her family was affected by the genocide.
I was so lucky to meet Regina, but there are plenty of other people like her in Rwanda too. Everyone is not only willing, but excited to help.