So long…

 Posted by Miriam Apter at 8:35 am  Rwanda
Jun 212012
 

6/21/12

After much back and forth, I decided to come home to fully recover, The antibiotics did seem to start working, but my doctor at home had said that even if they do, I will feel weak and tired for a little while after, and my immune system will be low and I would be very susceptible to catching something else. My breathing was also not totally back to normal there, and when I went outside the dust seemed to make it worse. I was very conflicted because I knew it was possible that I would get better in a few days, but the risks seemed higher and after seeing what medical care was like there, I decided to make the responsible decision and go home so that I can recover properly, in a clean environment with better nutrition than what was available to me.

On Sunday evening I headed back toKigalito stay in the guest house there and Monday night I flew out. I had a really nice last evening and went with a few of the other volunteers inKigalito the hotel that the movie HotelRwandawas based off of. It’s a beautiful hotel and we sat by the pool there for a while. I flew out at 1am, stopping inUganda(just to pick more people up) thenIstanbuland then to JFK and got home Tuesday evening. I have been recovering well and am mostly better now that I can eat and breathe properly. I’m taking it easy for the first few days and sleeping it off and am doing pretty well.

I was pretty bummed out about cutting my trip short. I’ve been planning this for almost a year, and spent a lot of time doing research, preparing and meeting with people, in addition to having spent most of my savings on the trip. But, as I tend to be reminded, there is only so much that is in my control. The comforting aspect is that I think that everything that was in my control, I had done. Any preparations that I could have made I did, and this unforeseeable circumstance was something I couldn’t have done anything about if I had wanted to. While making the decision, part of me was concerned that I was giving up to soon, and maybe I would be fine if I stayed, but in the end I decided that it wasn’t worth the risk. When I decided to go, and plenty of family and friends thought that I was crazy, and were concerned for my safety and the fact that I was going alone, I kept reassuring people that they shouldn’t worry, because they know that I am responsible and generally make safe and good decisions. I realized that I needed to live up to that, and take care of myself. Aside from that, the support and concern I was receiving from back home was heartwarming.

Though I didn’t have the full work experience there that I had wanted, and my time was cut short I still gained an incredible amount from the experience. Seeing how things function on the ground, experiencing the life and culture, and even getting a firsthand taste of medical care inRwandawas all still possible in my three weeks there.

A little disappointed yes, but no regrets.

Thanks for reading, and for all of the encouragement and support throughout the whole process of this trip.

   

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