It started with this trailer.
I'm not a crazy Star Wars fan, but that trailer, with its sentimental visuals and heart-pounding John Williams soundtrack, got me excited to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I borrowed the original trilogy and the prequels to watch and counted down the days until Star Wars was released. There was just one problem: there isn't a movie theater in Burundi.
That presented a whole raft of challenges because since the December 13 evacuation of the embassy, I'd been without backups at work, which meant I was unable to leave the country. For most of December and January, I avoided spoilers and was told by approximately 300 people that the movie was great.
I hatched a plan to go to Kigali or Nairobi to see the movie once my boss got back from dropping off her evacuated family in the States. The plan eventually grew into a grand road trip during which I'd get to finally drive upcountry, visit Kigali, eat delicious food, drop off one of my evacuated colleagues' stuff, AND see Star Wars.
After a few false starts, I found someone to drive up with me, got a new spare tire for my car and was ready to go on Thursday of last week. However, due to a misunderstanding, my travel buddy couldn't come that weekend. Then, I got an email from my colleague in Kigali titled "Terrible News" - which is probably not the greatest email title to send someone who is living in a country that might end up descending into civil war.
My colleague informed me that Star Wars was no longer playing in Kigali. I sighed and decided that the trip was not meant to be. And that might have been the end of that, but then on Friday evening I met two Germans...