Photos: Kevin Tosh.
The first few minutes of the new year found me riding on the back of a moto (motorcycle) in Kigali, my black scarf waving behind me, tulle skirt shaking in the wind. As we zipped down the road from Remera to Kimihurura, on either side of us you could see the hills rising, on their faces painted white and orange dots: white ones from the street lights on either side of the roads that wind their way around Kigali, the orange ones likely filament light bulbs inside and outside the homes. Kigali was a lot of things, and while my first post was a lot of gushing, there were a few things here and there that I did not like, as is the case with every experience. But all in all, it was some much needed time away, and almost as soon as I was back in Nairobi I found myself intensely craving the adventure of travel again.
I’ve been reflecting quite a bit on this blog, and on what I’d like to share more of in the coming year. I remember a while back writing about the fears that I associated with the greater level of visibility and vulnerability that came with sharing my opinions and my face more and more online. Something that actually came to pass was that a few months ago, I had my first, very, very unpleasant experience of online harassment. I don’t want to get into too much detail about it, but the experience made me very aware of what it means to place yourself in the open, and now I just basically don’t believe anything that I read or hear about “celebrities”. And while I don’t intend to stop blogging because of it, it has made me more thoughtful and perhaps a little more cautious. Anyway.
My highlights for the 2015/2016 transition– comprising a long dinner with some good friends and that moto ride back home– were really different from past New Year’s Celebrations, in a good way. I’m still one to go out dancing with friends, and I did have some experiences of the nightlife in Kigali, but it might be a growing old(er) thing that has me realizing just how much I’d undervalued what fun it can be to just sit and to bask in the awesomeness of people and talk for hours and hours.
So the truth is that nothing in the title has anything to do with these photos, which were taken atop the Telecom House in Kigali after a morning of walking around and observing the work done by Earthenable. It was a very long, very hot day, and I was sweaty and looked less than glamorous and you might not see it but in addition to the dust on my jeans (which you can see), there was sand and green floor paint on the inside of my shoes. But glam isn’t about what’s on the outside, but what’s on the inside, amirite?
“I have accomplished nothing without a little taste of fear in my mouth.” – Beyonce.