Rwanda Journal #3: Baltimore and Books

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Follow all of my Rwanda Journal posts here.

Today was a full day of travel. And I’m only really just getting started.

My alarm went off at 3:30 am Pacific time in Seattle… sufficient time for a shower, a quick kiss for my sleepy husband Greg (we said a proper goodbye last night) and a dash to the airport. Interestingly, my towncar driver Alex was a very friendly 26 year old from Ethiopia who spent the twenty minute drive to the airport educating me on the tribes of Ethiopia. We had a fascinating chat about tribalism, nationalism, and his pride in being an American. I’m continuously amazed when I meet folks who are new to our country. The struggles they have gone through to be here — the liberties they crave and so appreciate — are things I fail to notice far too often. My talk with Alex reminded me to never take for granted the many blessings in my life.

The flight to Baltimore, through Denver, was uneventful which is a good thing when you’re about to embark on an international adventure. No lost luggage, no delays, and a last minute upgrade to first class on my second flight equals a happy Lisa. On the Baltimore flight I watched the movie The Way Way Back, which I’d completely missed in theaters. While it won’t win any awards and has a few questionable family dynamics, the film caught me by surprise with its strong elements of friendship and a reminder of what is truly important in relationships.

Once in Baltimore, we finally had time to gather as a foursome with our fellow Egan Fellowship travelers for a fantastic dinner at Kona Grill. Kudos to our waiter Brian for making the evening’s culinary choices simple — it helps to have a “foodie” giving you recommendations. If you have a chance to dine there, don’t miss out.

Our dinner conversation revolved around getting to know one another and sharing some of our preparations for the trip. Between the four of us, we have read a good cross section of the books recommended by Catholic Relief Services to help us to prepare for this trip. I thought I’d share that list here, in case any of you would like to learn along with us:

Following dinner on our walk back to the hotel, we came across a manhole cover running over with some of the largest cockroaches I’ve ever seen. Wow, Baltimore – fairly impressive! This led us to a conversation about what types of wildlife we may encounter along our trip. One of our travelers (who shall go unnamed) has been designated as our go-to person when we spot any large creepy crawlies that need to be “dealt with”. I’m sure that I’ll be the one grabbing Instagram shots of any exciting insects!

Tomorrow, we have a full day of orientation with the Catholic Relief Services staff. I’m so anxious to meet many of them in person after they have been so helpful in our preparations! Stay tuned — I’m sure it will be a day full of fascinating information.

Follow all of my Rwanda Journal posts here.

 

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About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children’s fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa’s articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at www.LisaHendey.com for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

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