So I have a ton of vacation time coming up– 7 days before the end of June, and three weeks in July. I’ve got to take all my vacation before I leave my job (last day is August 3rd, woo hoo!) or I lose it! So I’ll be taking lots of three and four-day weekends in Martha’s Vineyard and Philly over the next two months… but the three week time period in July is still up for grabs. Today I spent most of my day thinking about what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go. The issue is money, and the problem is I’m not a huge fan of traveling alone.

I was brainstorming ideas– California, Florida, DC, North Carolina, Maine– when Mom said something that didn’t sound that appealing at first. However, the more and more I thought about it, the more and more the idea insinuated itself into my mind. RWANDA.

To clarify, my brother J is working in Rwanda for two years as a project developer. The work he’s doing is going to help rebuild the country’s economic infrastructure. It’s very cool. It’s also on the other side of the world, for all intents and purposes. When he first mentioned that he was going to be working over there I thought it was a crazy idea, and couldn’t fathom why someone would want to willingly work in a country that had just emerged from mass genocide a scant 15 years prior. But from what I’ve learned since, Rwanda is actually an up and coming place in terms of tourism. They are trying very hard to move past their history of violence.

I don’t quite know why, but I really think I want to do this. I will never have a reason (or a chance) to go to Rwanda otherwise. There will be very few times in the future when I will have nearly three weeks of uninterrupted time off (paid time off) at my disposal. I have family living there, so it won’t be as nerve-wracking as if I were to jet off to a random far-off country completely on my own. And it’s a chance for an adventure. Way more exciting than if I were to spend two weeks in Cali.– beautiful as it is. I still have to think about it, of course, and see if it would work logistically and financially. If I do end up going, this would be the second time that J’s choice of job will have led to me going to a far-away country that I never would have visited otherwise (last time it was China). Is this starting to be a trend here?

Photo by Rick LoBello

Typical Rwanda homes near the boundary of Virunga Volcanoes National Park, home of the critically endangered mountain gorilla. Photo by Rick LoBello


Lake Kivu, Rwanda. From

Rwanda view. From

Rwanda view. From

Mountain Gorilla, Virunga National Park

Mountain Gorilla, Virunga National Park

3 Comments on “Va-va-vacation!

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