He was back in Jacksonville after spending eight weeks on a teaching mission in Kigali, Rwanda. He was still readjusting to the time difference. Rwanda was six hours ahead.
“You still haven’t told me about your mission trip to Rwanda. How was it?”
“It was very good. I’m happy I decided to do it.”
“I didn’t think that you would want to spend your summer teaching.”
“I hadn’t planned to but my colleague, Madeline, gave me a brochure and encouraged me to think about going on a teaching mission. She had done it the year before and loved it. So, I read the brochure, thought and prayed about it. And the next thing I knew I was on a plane to Kigali.”
“So, what exactly did you do when you were there?”
“Well, I was responsible for teaching the English syllabus to poor and disadvantaged teens and youth in the community. They were 16 to 21 years old. Some of them lived with their families while others lived in dormitories for boys and girls. There was vocational training as well as learning English and French and social education. They were also educated about HIV/AIDS, other health issues, hygiene and nutrition. I led classes and worked for 40 hours per week, Monday to Friday for the eight weeks I was there. Typical work hours were 7am to 12pm and 2pm to 5pm. I had the weekends free for sightseeing. When I arrived at Kigali’s airport, I was met and greeted by the ABV Staff.”
“Did you have to get vaccinated before going there?”
“Yes. I got vaccinated for Yellow Fever, Malaria, Hepatitis A and typhoid.”
“What were the people like?”
“Very warm and friendly.”
“Where did you go sightseeing?”
“I visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial. It was a very emotional moment for me. 250,000 victims are interred there. First, we watched a short documentary film about the Rwandan genocide before making our way through three permanent exhibitions, filled with artifacts, timelines, historical information, and photographs. The main exhibit focused on the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and moderate Hutus. It explained how colonization affected Rwandan society and created divisions that didn’t exist before between Hutus and Tutsis. I got choked up when we went to the Children’s Room, where there is a gallery of life-size portraits of the youngest victims of the genocide. Some of were infants. Their memories are kept alive through details about their favorite toys, sports, foods, songs, and more. As I said it was a very emotional experience for me but I’m thankful that I went.”
“I know that if I were there, I would have completely lost it. Where else did you go?”
“I went to the Rwanda Art Museum. I found out that the grounds of the museum also contain the debris from the presidential jet that crashed on April 6, 1994. I visited Kimironko Market, Kigali’s largest and busiest market. There were hundreds of vendors. I was able to get a couple of custom made shirts from vibrant patterns by one of the on-site tailors. I wore those shirts when I went sightseeing the following weekend. I went to the Amahoro Stadium to watch a soccer game. I hiked Mount Kigali where I was to catch incredible views of the city from different vantage points. I walked through a lovely eucalyptus forest. I visited the Hôtel des Mille Collines which sheltered hundreds of people during the Rwandan genocide. The people were hidden in groups of up to 10 in unnumbered rooms and had to rely on the pool for drinking water. I went to Question Coffee Café and got a taste of their made in Rwanda product although I’m not much of a coffee drinker.”
He didn’t mention that he had also visited Nyamirambo Women’s Center. Kalisa had taken him there and he had purchased patterned place mats and a crocheted rug. He also bought a necklace for her. After leaving there, they went to the beach for a swim. They swam and splashed about in the water for a while, then they raced each other to the beach, collapsing on the sand, laughing.
They lay there for a while listening to the waves and then, he rolled on to his side. She stared up at him with those beautiful eyes. He lowered his head and kissed her. She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back.
Davita’s voice interrupted his thoughts. “Did you say something?”
“I was just saying that I’m happy you’re back from Rwanda.”
“You have a few days left before you’re back teaching at the university.”
“Yes, I do. I thought I would chill out–read, go for walks, the beach.”
“I was thinking of something else you can do,” she said, her eyes traveling slowly over him. It had been a long time since they had sex. The last time was the night before he left for Rwanda. They had kept in touch through texting and emails. During those eight weeks they were apart, she missed him like crazy, especially at nights when she lying in her bed, thinking about him and longing for him.
She got up from the sofa and walked over to him. Taking him by the hand, she led him to her bedroom. When they got there, she released his hand and walked over to the bed. She sat down on it and drew her feet up so that her legs were exposed. “Come on baby, give me some lovin'”.
Deandre stood looking down at her. He had to put Kalisa out of his mind. What they had was a summer romance. He was never going to see her again. His life was here in Jacksonville with Davita.
Davita stretched out on her back, staring up at him, her bosom heaving as her heart raced and desire coursed through her body. Resignedly, Deandre lay on top of her and reaching up, she clutched his head, moaning when she felt his mouth on hers.