Its nine thirty Friday night. Zeb is in Butare at a gathering of national D.J.’s with his newfound friends, Pius and Brik. Two nights ago, MyDear came running out of her room saying that she heard Zeb on the radio. When she explained, the evening D.J. on the most popular radio station said “I’m sending out a Valentine for D.J Pius and D.J. Brik and the white guy that’s always hanging around with them named ZEB!” Zeb is famous in a month!
He is really enjoying learning all about the Disc Jockey business, mixing music, and making videos that Pius does. He seems alive and happy and on the right track. He is shrinking before our eyes and has been working out at the gym with those guys and cries out for me each morning to come to rub his arms because he can’t lift them, so stiff from lifting weights. Even big boys need their Mommys.
Elias and Sophie are screaming out on the balcony with glee because we are having a much-needed crazy loud and rumbly lightning storm. The cool air is priceless. The lighting is as wide as a tree trunk and they are going crazy with yelling and jumping around because each time the bolt hits a hill the entire mountainside loses its lights. Then after a few minutes, they twinkle back on. They keep yelling to the guard to go under the house onto the porch but he won’t move because he is enjoying watching them go nuts with joy. I asked this guard a few days ago when we could hear Sophie half singing/ half screaming inside the house what he thought of this new crazy family. He said, “The children are happy. They are full of joy and singing every day.” Then he smiled like only Micheal can and stared up at the window where Sophie was. Infectious I pray.
I just heard Sophie say to Elias: “Elias did you ever just sit here and think that God just sat there and thought I want to make this and then wham He just made this?”
Elias: “Yeah, wham! And there’s the mountain”.
Yesterday after school Sophie came home and sat in the chair next to me. She was happy because I allowed her and Elias to take the “Motos” home from school. They are the little Kama Kazi motorbikes that dart around without traffic laws that are the cheapest form of taxiing. I looked over at her and she said, “This has to be the best day ever.” Smiled, nodded, got up, and poured herself a Fanta.
Life in Africa is so different in every way, from the smells, to the food, to the customs, to the foliage, to the meaning of nuance, that you find yourself looking for things that are like home so that you can somehow find your bearings. I have noticed this quickly and have made it my job to find as many ways to make Kigali like home, so everyone is comfortable while trying to celebrate and explore the things that are so different. I am digging deep for the strength to handle a kid on a moto or one of them hiking up a large hill with wildlife that can eat them, so that they can enjoy and be brave and live their experience to its fullest. There is a happy medium somewhere in this vast adventure and I am hoping to find it.