..like an expensive perfume

Rwandans are clean and healthy. Their president is slim and neat. The country is green. The food isn’t oily, tap water is potable. People are polite, warm but not intrusive. There are no color excesses, no light pollutions, noise pollutions, fogs, corruption and crime. The sun, the rain are regulated: Just enough. The weather in Rwanda adapts to our needs not the other way round. There is no drama nor catastrophe. The sophistication is mystical, nothing you have seen anywhere – only God knows..’

..While Jesus was in Bethany, Mary Magdalen came and sat at his feet, weeping. She began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she dried them with her hair, kissed them and poured an expensive perfume on them. During the process, Jesus was reclining at the table, pleased. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant..

My country is really beautiful, harmonious and prosperous. When I described its everlasting, endless beauty, some colleagues were indignant. This morning again I tried to understand why they felt that way.. Is it something I said? Does the depiction of my country’s beauty make them feel insecure? Are many Africans thinking like them? Were they taught that speaking of misery in their countries make them sound enlightened? Are they lost? Do they want to be someone else?

‘Why this waste?’ the disciples asked. ‘This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor’. And Jesus said to them, ‘Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me’..

When I told you this story, I was hoping you would tell me about your country in return. Tell me, how beautiful is your country? See, I haven’t always had one, nor have I seen one blossoming like mine. Sure we have the poor, the sick and the jailed in Rwanda. We always will. You and I went to the same school, I know, but bear with me if once in a while I get to pause, and smell the scent of roses – and expensive perfumes…


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