The Land of a Thousand Hills

I am a little late in wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving…



This year, I am truly thankful for friends who live in nearby countries and who allow me to join them for Thanksgiving.  I had an amazing time visiting with dear friends in Rwanda. If anyone knows me well, you know that Rwanda is one of my favorite countries to visit and Kigali is probably my favorite city in the world (hands down my favorite city in Africa). I love the rolling green hills that dot just about every inch of the country. The weather is mild and unlike Juba, most of the roads are paved.

the hills

For the weekend, we took a trip up north to the town of Gisenyi. Gisenyi sits on the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, near the base of an active volcano and on the pristine shores of Lake Kivu. We stayed at the Serena Hotel. The Serena Hotel is 15 star hotel compared to my living arrangements in Juba. The bed was probably the most comfortable bed I have slept in since departing the US. It was one of the reasons that I missed the most epic play in college football – make that American football in general.


The night of the Iron Bowl, I was unable to watch it on TV or online. I decided to listen online through the Auburn network. I even paid $2 for a Coca Light to help me stay up. But the bed was too powerful. I drifted in and out of sleep as I listen to the game. Just after 2:00am, after Alabama scored to take the lead, with just four minutes left in the game, I decided this game was over and I should just enjoy this comfortable bed on my last night. I never imagined that Auburn would win the game with one second left on the clock. When I checked my phone the next morning, I had over 30 messages from friends/family congratulating me on Auburn’s win. The highlight was a text that stated Auburn was holding a Leprechaun hostage – insinuating that was the reason for Auburn’s wins against Georgia and now Alabama.  While I am sad that I missed the ending of the game, the good night sleep and amazing breakfast brought me must needed comfort.

On Sunday, we headed back down to Kigali and on Monday, I flew back to Juba. And my amazing weekend came to an abrupt end. The Juba International Airport has a way of dashing whatever hopes and dreams you had for the coming weeks. I am now counting down to the next trip out of Juba. That trip comes in 13 days…

Until then, keep me in your prayers…I can use patience and strength to withstand the hassles of South Sudan.



My playmate over the weekend – Jimmy.

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