Blogs from Province de L'Est, Rwanda, Africa

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Africa » Rwanda » Province de L'Est July 22nd 2014

Episode 5: Rwanda: gorillas in our midst July 22, 2014. Greetings everyone from the charming country of Rwanda in central Africa. We have been here in Rwanda for about five days now and have visited the Mountain gorillas in the Northwest of the small country. More about them in a moment. In contrast to the dirty chaos of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Kampala (Uganda), the Rwandan capital, Kigali, was a pleasant surprise. It is mostly very clean and orderly, with little rubbish, and with shiny new cars and smartly dressed people. Many of the women wear brightly coloured dresses with matching head garments – very pretty. Rwanda has banned plastic bags, which goes some way to explaining the tidy nature of its capital (plus, on the last Saturday of the month, everyone must take time ... read more
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Zebras must be fake In the east of Rwanda, near the border of Tanzania, is the Akagera National Park. The main attraction in Akagera is to go on a safari to the parts of the national park covered with savannah. We have never been to a safari before. This was a first for us and we absolutely loved it. In the national park we drove around in a car. If someone reading this has plans on going to Akagera National Park we would like to give a piece of information on the choice of car. A 4WD car is must or else you will not be able to visit much at all. We also recommend that you take a car that has AC. Then you can drive around with the car windows up and you will ... read more
Zebra
"Why are you looking...?"
Hippopotamus

Africa » Rwanda » Province de L'Est June 10th 2011

When we first arrived, the guides welcomed us and directed us to the wonderful Rwandan tea and coffee. That was welcome on a chilly morning. We had the opportunity to do some shopping and I found great souvenirs for Andrew and the boys. In the first photo, the guides meet to discuss where the family groups are, then they divide the visitors into groups based on how far they want to hike. Because my hip and leg are still bothering me a lot, I asked for the closest group. I was assigned to the Hirwa group with 7 Australians. Hirwa means lucky, which I took for a good omen. My driver, Banner, then got into a convoy to drive to the starting point of the trail. At the base of the trail, we met a group ... read more
Small boy in one of the fields
2 of 5 volcano peaks
Military escort

Africa » Rwanda » Province de L'Est May 2nd 2011

An African peace now sits over the church at the edge of Nyamata, a town just south of Kigali. The creaking of the iron roof as it heats up in the sun, the birds singing in the trees, and the fluttering of flags in the wind - the only noises breaking the peaceful silence of the afternoon . But 17 years ago, this very spot was the location of a scene of utter horror. A scene that defies words, and left me in complete shock. Seaking an escape from the genocide that swept through the country, 10,000 people gathered here - 6,000 packed shoulder to shoulder inside the church, while 4,000 saught shelter in the shade of the walls outside. But there was no escape, as the army, the militias, and the Interahamwe, advanced on the ... read more
A fluttering flag - one of the few noises breaking the afternoon calm

Africa » Rwanda » Province de L'Est March 3rd 2010

So i've had my last day in Rwamagana - geez six weeks has flown by. i've got quite used to my chilled lifestyle out here and now feel quite at home passing people i know as i walk into town (the Geography and Economics teacher -Jen; Delphine and her baby Obama; Sam the scrabble genius come carpenter; and not to mention all the staff from the 3 internet cafes!) So what'll i miss.....: getting up at 6am because let's face it i won't manage to maintain that at home despite my best intentions; endless card games (i'm easily pleased); chippatis at 10p....yummy; thinking it's ok to wear socks and sandals; the amusement on people's faceswhen i greet them in Kinyrwanda; potato diet and of course cykabare and readily prepared meals! But i won't be sorry to ... read more

Africa » Rwanda » Province de L'Est February 21st 2010

I went for a wander this morning round the backstreets and being Sunday could hear singing and music all around. I decided to join cykabare at his church since it is the first Sunday when he’s not been cooking for us and hence been able to go. His church was outdoors, under a corregated iron roof, with benches on the mud floor and wooden poles holding it up. They had a cloth backdrop and a table where the pastor sat. A new building is being constructed but to my eye it didn’t yet resemble a building so it’s some way off. Children sat on the floor on grass mats, or wandered around (their parents not really caring where they were) and one girl (the daughter of my translator) decided to sit on me - the colour ... read more

Africa » Rwanda » Province de L'Est February 20th 2010

Every Saturday half the population seem to head to a wedding and this weekend it was my turn. One of the Mzungu in town was marrying a Rwandan so I don’t think it had all the Rwandan traditions but we still had fun! I just turned up for the reception whereby the bride and groom sat on table in middle and brides family under canape one side and groom’s the other. There were several speeches and singing for the couple and then the present giving ceremony. The couple stood in the middle and everyone queued up and danced their present to the couple. Then there were the bigger presents (ie cows). No cows were actually presented and these cows can even be symbolic but on this occasion they did get 2 cows - not sure how ... read more

Africa » Rwanda » Province de L'Est January 30th 2010

today is what is known as umuganda. The last Saturday of each month when all residents have to go and do some community chores together, both as a means of getting to know each other and to get some stuff done I guess. This involves jobs such as clearing the verges. Very few people have addresses out here and so the towns/villages are divided into divisions and then secteurs and then cells, so people’s addresses just contain their name and cell name and someone within that cell will know them! There must be a good hundred houses per cell and it is in these cell group that they do umuganda. One person per household is expected to turn up each month. Apparently there aren’t even tools to go around and so people end up sitting and ... read more

Africa » Rwanda » Province de L'Est January 28th 2010

This week has been somewhat limited workwise due to a daily power cut, which we found out today has been scheduled for a month but unbeknown to us. The electricity goes off at 8am and comes back on at 5pm….pile poil the hours of a working day!! Today was hot…very hot and instead of staying in the shade like any normal person I decided I’d brave the sun and catch some rays - although Rwamagana is not exactly a holiday destination so no-one just lies in the sun. Tuesday I went off to find a place at a local primary school for a young girl who has aids and whose schooling and care is being funded by a guy in the UK. Fortunately they do have a place and the hospital adjacent to the school has ... read more
lake muhazi
cluck cluck

Africa » Rwanda » Province de L'Est January 27th 2010

Not sure if I’ve told you that we have a houseboy at the office - he does all our cooking and washing and cleaning and general help. Its very weird having someone doing all your chores for you - but many people out here do and he gets paid pretty well for it. He is very keen cleaning the floors several times a week by hand, cooking good wholesome meals and keeping this place neat and tidy. It's as if he’s been trained to please which makes me feel rather awkward sometimes. For example today I was lying in the sun on the grass since we had nothing to do and he went and found and brought me a towel to lie on . He speaks little English but we manage to communicate in some form ... read more




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