19 March 2013

Kigali to Oxford

This draft has been sitting here since I got back a week ago, because I wasn't sure how passionate and emotional and angry I was comfortable with being in public. The short story is, as I sat in the coffee shop at Kigali airport waiting for check-in to open, a man who I'd met a couple of days earlier asked me with total sincerity to take one of his children with me back to England so that they could get a better education and a chance of a better job, which for some reason really got to me. A man who totally seriously wanted a total stranger to take one of his children thousands of miles away because he knows that living standards are so much better in rich countries. And he couldn't move himself because of our totally self-absorbed immigration policies. So I'll skip the rant, but sometimes it just breaks my heart that we live in a world where such desperation is so mundane.

In other news, 3 months away is probably too short for any proper reverse culture shock, but I do admit to being mystified by the battery-powered electric salt and pepper grinders in the apartment I am renting, which make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Also a few people have commented that I've lost weight, which I hadn't noticed at all, but seems plausible following a typically overwhelming first-trip-to-the-supermarket-following-a-period-of-developing-country-living. Seriously, no wonder we have so much obesity when food is this cheap and easy.

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