I want two things for my birthday this year:

  1. See chimpanzees in the wild
  2. Play mini golf with friends

How insane is it that my first wish is easier to attain than the second? I’m on the search for a mini golf place in Kigali, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t exist. But plus one for chimpanzees, right? It is going to be a very Jane Goodall birthday. Did I ever tell you that I met her – twice? She is cooler than you think she is (if that is possible), and she can legit whoop and holler like a real live chimpanzee. I’ve seen it.

While I was wallowing in the disappointment of a mini golf-free 33, I walked the 3.5km to Rz Manna, an A+ bakery with some of the best iced coffee I’ve had in quite some time.


After I ordered my tiny pastry and giant coffee, I walked to a little table towards the back. Low and behold I ran into my friend Christine, who is one of the five people that I know in Kigali. Small world, right? She asked me what I had planned for the day, and I admitted that I have zero plans until Tuesday, because that’s what happens when you move halfway across the world, amiright?

Thank goodness I didn’t have plans, because just a couple hours later I found myself smack dab in the middle of Cynthia Rupari’s store, getting measured for a dress made out of African fabric. Next week I’ll go for a final fitting, and then I’ll have a unique one-of-a-kind piece for my closet. If you know me at all, you know that I am not fashionable and I despise shopping, but I admit it feels super special to pick a fabric, design the shape of your dress, and have someone make it for you with their own two hands. Thank you, Cynthia!!

My colleague Linda sees my reserved fashion sense as a challenge to overcome, and she swears to me: “girl I’m gonna get you in some color.” Mom, I know you’ll be pleased.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m pretty in love with Rwanda and I don’t want to leave in three months. When I get back to DC I’ll give it the ol’ college try. But if it doesn’t work out? I’m quitting my job and moving to Kigali to be a business owner.

I’m going to open a mini golf course. With a bar (of course).