Home is where

22 January 2015 – It’s been a week since I arrived in Rwanda. Adjusting to local time, climate and living (change in language, currency, and the standards of living essentials like food, fire/electricity, water, and internet!) are not always easy, but I find the adjustment process much quicker and smoother this time.

On my flight from Montreal to Kigali, I read some tips on how to beat the effects of jet-lag (Skylife January 2015).

1. Not eating before a flight and continuing afterwards can ease a certain area in the brain that organises sleeping, eating and hormone activities (A lighter meal, vegetarian option, for example, can also help).
2. Take Vitamin B before the flight.
3. Exercise for five minutes and meditating for 15 minutes can also help reduce the symptoms of jet-lag.

Once arrived at the destination, another technique that I find useful is to stand facing the sun in the morning (with the eyes closed of course). Direct sunlight helps to switch the body clock. Also, I exercise lightly but frequently to keep the body active and awake throughout the day. Most importantly, having a good night sleep takes care of the rest.
Thanks to the quick recovery, I was able to start private Kinyarwanda lessons at my good local friend Eric’s primary school (he is the headmaster at The Friends of the Children International School) in Rwamagana. I am reading, writing, listening and speaking like a ten-year-old and it brings me back memories of learning a new language when I first arrived in Canada. A circle of life? It’s the story of my life!

Some interesting differences between Montréal and Kigali – they are a world apart: geographically they differ by 47.4-degree latitude (Mtl 45.5 N and Kgl 1.9 S), and in Celcius, it feels 47-degree different (on the day of departure Mtl was -19 C and Kgl 28 C). They are both home to me now.


Published by Sung Kyu Kim

Sung Kyu is a research fellow at the Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex

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