After a five-hour (unsuccessful) chimp-tracking mission in the Nyungwe Forest, we pulled up to a pygme village on the edge of the jungle.
I was expecting very small people, but…they weren’t.
Maybe a little shorter than your average person—I’d say the women were between 5’2″ and 5’4″—but it was hardly visible with the children.
I would venture to say that this village has seen very few muzungus (white people) during their days, based on their reaction to the six of us.
But they were the most welcoming of anyone we met in Rwanda (which is saying a whole helluva lot based on the kindness of everyone we met).
Whereas others weren’t too keen on us snapping their photos, the pygme children were all for it.
They’re run ahead of me, strike a pose, then say “photo, photo!” because they wanted to see the result.
It was all too much cuteness for this muzungu to handle.
And while many other places we visited, we unabashedly ask for money at every opportunity, a few small children kept asking me for something in their language that I didn’t understand.
“What’s that?” I asked the driver. “They want pens,” he said. “Pens, like writing utensils?” I’d ask. “Yes, that is all.”
Broke my heart. And for a journalist with pens normally coming out the wazoo, for once I came up empty.
Next time, I’m back in Rwanda, back in the pygme village, I will bring enough pens for the entire town.