Crouched in a bus together. And why not? Why waste room?
Why, when I go to a US Airline do I.want.my.space? Like, I want it. Bad. I love my aisle seat, no center seat, I wanna spread these dirty kicks all out and deep breath, chill out.
But here, here in Rwanda, sit me by that cold, airy window, no problem. Sleep pressed against a sweaty grandpa, no problem. A baby in your lap, fruit at your feet, no matter, we're good, roll on.
The whole things seems terribly unfair. Why do I have such unreachable standards in my own land and non-existent ones in another? Certainly seems like a double.
Anyway, we're in the bus together and things are rolling. Flights have been on time, grab a cab from Kigali Airport to the bus yard, $5 each and 4 hours later, there we are. Gisenyi. Border town to Goma. The border won't let us through - our Letter of Invitation is stuck in email and they haven't gotten it yet. No problem, we'll send it tomorrow to a new address. First kink yet. Can't believe it's all gone so smoothly.
Crash the night, red wine and beef, share a bed with Dav. The people at the bar are a blast and I am once again frustrated by my lack of French. The more language adept members from each of our groups compensate and we get along fine, talking soccer, politics and beer. They love beer.
Here there is an interest level I am unused to in the affairs of our world. Everyone is curious, because everyone is affected.
It feels good to move back to a place of question asking. Saying the same thing time again may cut it back home, but here you gotta be sharp to keep up. Here things are always changing and the implications are wide. I feel my minds curiosity rising with every minute we talk.
But why this? Why that? In asking I find myself enjoying again. In learning, I come open.
It's strange how good it feels to be back. I don't think I expected it, but I feel alive again. Awake. I wonder if it's a culture thing, land thing, or maybe it's much simpler. Maybe it's merely a technology thing. Just a technology thing.
That thing where our fingers always go press-beep-flash-grow-glow-gloss-shrink-shadow-pretty slide side to side. Our eyes move left, right, up, down, swing around. Can't concentrate, don't stare straight, can hardly articulate, like um and well, we couch ourselves, convince ourselves...
"No one, no one, no one, can get in the way of what I'm feelin...cause everything's gonna be alright, sayin everything's gonna be alright."
And we must know it's true. We must. It's imperative for our survival.
But we must know it's not true. Somewhere, out there, we must know it's not true. That it can't always forever be true. That everything will not always be alright.
Many would say it has been true for some time and why won't it continue? Three whole cycles, each salvaged by those who rose to the occasion of their time. But people did have to rise. Alright has never happened on it's own. And standing here with men and women attuned to their time, I wonder if we will rise to our time.
We're hardly experts on this land or any other. But we do have questions and the people here are bursting to answer them. We'll keep listening and sharing if you'll keep listening and sharing.
So, like I said, maybe it's much simpler than land or sky or culture. Maybe it's just that here I breath deep enough to hear.
Make their weapon your voice.
***Feel free to pass this on. You're the only reason we exist***
Follow Sean Carasso on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@seancarasso