... Continued from Pilgrimage through the Backroads 5
I passed through security first. Somehow they didn’t notice that Mustapha had a Sierra Leonian passport and did not have a visa or a letter of invitation to visit Rwanda. They just let him through, no questions asked!
All through this situation, Mustapha had this big joyful smile on his face. He kept saying, Daddy, don’t waary, don’t waary! But it just did no good for me ... I kept on waarying!
We flew to Bujumbura and sat on the ground there for 40 minutes. When I got a chance I moved up the aisle to chat with Mustapha again. I said, 'I think what we should do is, let me enter the terminal at Kigali first and I will forward this invitation letter to you on email so that it will be on your computer in case the immigration officials demand to see the letter in order to approve a visa.' Mustapha said, ‘I think it will be okay, don’t waary.’
As we took off from Bujumbura for the 25 minute flight to Kigali, I rattled on to Nancy about contingencies if Mustapha was refused entry: Who should I call in Nairobi? Where could I find the phone numbers? What should we encourage him to do there? How much would we need to give him for expenses? My mind was racing ... I was still trying to do God’s work, keep God’s promises and I was running down ... I just couldn’t keep this up much longer ... just a few more minutes and we would have the answers.
Nancy and I walked inside the terminal at the Kigali airport and stood in the residents line. Mustapha stood in the visa application line. We went through and waited for Mustapha trying to look inconspicuous. Just then the agent at the counter referred Mustapha to an officer emerging from an office: he was the supervisor, Oh, No! He scribbled something on the application form and Mustapha gave us a smile and a thumbs up, so we moved on to the baggage area. I couldn’t believe it! That wasn’t supposed to happen that easily!
We waited a while for our bags, but only three of our six checked bags came through. Don’t tell me, we are going to have come back to the airport again tomorrow! I stood in line to file a lost luggage claim, but I couldn’t find the luggage tags so I had no proof of lost luggage. I couldn’t believe it. Apparently the check-in lady had omitted to give us luggage tags in Nairobi. Nancy was nowhere in sight, so I couldn’t ask her. And I was exhausted. There was no point in standing in this line for another 40 minutes, then finding I could not file a claim with no tags. I just turned and walked out of the office.
I found Nancy and asked her about the luggage tags and she didn’t know where they were. I was so frustrated, I started rummaging through papers in my satchel, when ... yes ... the satchel slipped off the luggage cart and fell to the floor, hitting on the corner. And, yes, it had Nancy’s computer in it!! We’d have to assess the damage later.
Now it was time to make our way through customs and see if anyone was out front to meet us. Yes, there was Chris’s smiling face. He was in his pickup, not ours as we expected. So what’s up? 'Well, some small car problems. It just quit today and it wouldn’t start again.' Hmmm. Well, that’s something to deal with tomorrow. For now it was dinner at the Shelbys. Wow, good fellowship, good food, good to be home again! After dinner Chris delivered us to our house. As we drove up to the gate the house lights went out. Yes, this must be Rwanda, good to be home. We are Africans, we know how to function in the dark. Our first order of business was prayers of gratitude, that God had brought all of us home safely. Forgive me, Lord, for all my waarying! It didn't solve anything.' And the problems can wait until tomorrow...