I think this all started when my professors’ dog got hit by a car right in front of us in
But my Rwandese friend S., sitting in the front passenger seat, said, “C’est presque normale ici.” – it’s almost normal here. (Sorry for any horrible spelling errors. I’ve never actually learned how to write in French. I can talk, sometimes, but I can’t write.)
Anyway, the result of all this depressing death by vehicle was that I developed a fear of cars. They are big, you see, and they are made of metal and we, we humans, are not. We are made of fragile flesh and fragile bone, and we break so so easily.
I don’t think it helped that I just spent three years in
All of this meant that the 24-hour drive to
Needless to say, what little sleep I got was not very deep, because I kept startling awake every time I heard a sound or felt the car swerve a little, because if I’m about to die, I want to know it. I don’t want to just wake up dead. (I do the same thing in planes, except related to the sound of the engines, startling every time they shift up or down, which is why I can’t sleep in planes, which is why it is a particularly cruel joke that I love living in Africa, which involves lots of overnight flights, often two in a row, and overnight flights in the ever-shrinking amount of space the airlines give you when you can’t sleep, and the resulting jetlag, are a torture I would not wish even on people I cannot stand and on whom I am tempted to wish bad things.)
But we made it to
This place is lovely. It is barren and stark in a way that I have never seen the