Kigali Airport

Flight to Delhi in 2 hours. There we will train teachers to teach kids in “poverty” schools spoken English, an extension of what we do here in Rwanda.  Never having gone to India I am excited and ready for shock and delight.

But before we leave our Rwanda, a word about this country we have adopted. I enjoy the Rwanda International airport. It reflects the vision Rwanda has of itself. It runs like a Swiss watch.

Everything is open, coffee is strong, capoccinos frothy, bookstore shiny new and open. Security is tight, comprehensive, implemented efficiently and courteosly. The faces of the security people are flat, informative, but break into a smile with a ‘thank you’.

We’ve been coming to Rwanda for almost 7 years. Every year when we return we see another layer of improvement; buildings being constructed, highways and bridges, schools popping up everywhere. There is a vibrancy and enthusiasm that is palpable. There is what may appear to some to be a dichotomy of wealth here, but it feels more like an up escalator. Some folks are in electric cars, and yes, some still trudging with bundles of firewood on their heads and water cans in the hands of their children. The clothes and shoes of the walkers have gotten better. Colors of shirts and dresses are mostly bright, not mud brown and shoes are shoes, not only flipflops. More and more, I see this country pulling itself toward greater prosperity.  Everyone seems to be moving up or aspiring to move up that escalator.

I’m sure there are those who will disparage the wealth that is increasingly apparent in Rwanda and point out what could be construed as a widening of class differences. But I see energy. People asking for more work, more skills. No one seems to have the time to complain about the unfairness of their lives. They are too busy getting their toe on the up escalator.