By Maria Mulhall – Idea stolen from Laura Mc Guigan’s entry ‘Choose Ethiopia’

Choose Rwanda. Choose being called ‘this one’. Choose goat brochette. Choose boda-bodas. Choose choosing between Mutzig and Primus. Choose Kinyarwanda. Choose Byumba. Choose a chorus of mzungu twenty-four-seven. Choose surge protectors, 2-pin plugs and extension leads. Choose learning something new every second. Choose Rwandise driving skills. Choose feeling at home. Choose gorillas and colubus monkeys. Choose ‘cold?’. Choose Emmanuel. Choose banana beer, banana wine and waragi. Choose the local shebeen. Choose Malarone and Dioralyte. Choose searching yourself for any bit of French you can find. Choose teaching Calc through ‘regarde ici’ and ‘clic ici’. Choose Ishmele. Choose ‘good morning sir’. Choose mbabirira. Choose Hotel Des Mille Collines. Choose uniforms. Choose fixing computers. Choose the Bishop. Choose ten million warm welcomes. Choose Oro Se Do Bheatha Abhaile. Choose Camara on Rwandise TV to a voiceover about refrigeration and methane gas. Choose African tea and powered milk. Choose diverse scenery. Choose dancing, drumming and singing. Choose MTN facades. Choose being invited into peoples’ homes. Choose Agaseke: The Rwandise Heart. Choose motos. Choose Umuganda. Choose windscreens and suits that adorn Jesus, Allah and Chelsea. Choose random faces growing into familiar smiles. Choose not missing emails and texts. Choose deet. Choose mosquito nets and duct tape. Choose the generosity from home that gets you here. Choose Wikipedia. Choose building a special relationship with someone who speaks no English. Choose Intore. Choose poker and twenty-five. Choose tin whistles and guitars. Choose three out of the big five. Choose guessing between mangoes and avocados. Choose room 201: the tea room. Choose advanced networking and HTML. Choose Lake Kivu. Choose spoons. Choose Kigali, Gisenyi, Butare, Nyungwe, Akagera and Kibuye. Choose the land of 1000 hills. Choose Rwanda.