Wednesday, February 22, 2006


President Paul Kagame of Rwanda became the 41st leader to honor my request and one of the few to send me a personally inscribed hand-signed photograph. He is also the first leader to include a gift with the correspondence.

The gift he sent was a beautifully illustrated coffee table book on Rwanda. Though it is in French, it is full of fascinating photographs and will definitely enhance and enrich my personal library. The book's back flap has a wonderful explanation in English as you can see in the scan below. (Those wishing to purchase the book for themselves and/or wish to see the front cover can do so by clicking here.)

The book's title, Rwanda Nziza, is the same as Rwanda's relatively new national anthem and portrays a pleasant side to a country often associated with conflict and genocide. The book itself is heavy and large and the envelope provided for it was woefully inadequate. By the time the parcel arrived it's packaging was in tatters and held in place over the book by a rubber band placed there by the postal service. Nevertheless, I am humbled, Grateful, and extremely pleased to be the recipient of this gift.

I'm not familiar with postal delivery times from Central Africa but from the postmark it is apparent that the correspondence took a full month to arrive from Rwanda. I will therefor assume that my correspondence to President Kagame took a month to arrive to him as well. My point is that we must not be displeased by the late response as, seemingly, it is normal.

However I am curious to know what route the letter took from Rwanda. Are anyone of you familiar with the logistics of international mail delivery? Can you hazard a guess as to which countries the letter passed through before it arrived in the US?

Also, can anyone figure out what book the President is reading in the photo?


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