A 5.15 leave seems fairly standard for the last day of an overseas trip and everyone was down at the bus on time with suitcases full of souvenirs and heads full of memories. Our driver Eddie was inevitably there, bright and cheerful as ever, and Eric, who never sleeps at this time of day (but does at the time normal people get up?!), also came along to make sure that we left.
The journey to the airport was short and, after all bags had been given a once over by the sniffer dog, we were soon doing one last ‘Eddie scrimmage’, bade our farewells and checked in for the last flights. Gabby acquired a baby at the security check station, but it proved only temporary, and we entered the departure lounge. Somehow it would not have been fitting for this trip if the flight had been on schedule so we accepted the hour’s delay as pretty standard and either sat fairly quietly or tried to spend our last few Rwandan francs in the inevitable souvenir outlets. The low levels of conversation was probably a combination of tiredness, sadness and the fact that we had talked so much in the past two weeks about the days ahead that there seemed nothing more to say.
The return flight went smoothly and soon we were touching down at Gatwick. The wait for our luggage was not too bad and a few hugs and promises of meeting up again in the future put the final mark on what had been a wonderful, exhilarating, fun-filled two weeks, that had seen acquaintances grow into friendships and memories created of happy, smiling Rwandan children that will live forever in the memory.
Thank you to CWB, Rwanda and the group for a fortnight that will never be forgotten.
Phil Green, first time volunteer