10 November 2008

Rwanda Genocide Trip

It is hard to describe this weekend as a tour, roadtrip or vacation… I’ll just have to call it a trip…

On Friday morning at 6 AM I set off for a 10-hour trip to Kigali… the capital of Rwanda… with Josh, Beth and Renee… Josh and Beth are both staying with us and Renee is a friend to all who works at ARMs with us…

None of us had seen the genocide memorial or even been to Rwanda… after Christine’s trip last year I knew that this would be an important part of understanding East Africa as well as understanding my students from Rwanda…

The drive was as uneventful as driving in Uganda can be… we were alive when we reached the border with as few close encounters with oncoming traffic, speeding buses and mammoth potholes as possible…

Once in Rwanda the waving pedestrians and oncoming container truck quickly alerted me that in Rwanda we drive on the RIGHT side of the road…

After soiling my pants… I quickly turned to a daydream about a car that rotate the drivers and passengers seat at the crossing of any international border…

Once we were in Kigali… we found the guesthouse in country where everything is written and spoken in French… you try asking directions in a language where the only words you know are “Where is thumpkin? Where is thumpkin? Here I am! Here I am!”

The last thing I wanted to do was drive again so we decided to take a walk around the city… I immediately felt like a tourist…



Everyone could tell we were from the US… so they all honked their horns, shook our hands and shouted “OBAMA!”



We found the Hotel Des Mille Collines….also known to movie goers as “Hotel Rwanda”… the bottom floor is under reconstruction so we didn’t go inside… but as is usually the case it looked nothing like the movie…

I was pretty tired the rest of the night so only few things stuck out to me…

1) There are sidewalks, lanes for traffic which people stay in, taxi and boda drivers are ALL registered and licensed and overall everything clean… or maybe they just don’t have red clay…many people say its the nicest capital in Africa... it's definitely nicer than Kampala...



2) The people live at a fast pace… they walk faster, talk faster and bring the food and bill much faster…

3) There are elephants everywhere…which didn’t make sense until day number 2…

1 comment:

Lena said...

way to leave me on a cliff hanger....what happened on day two!??! Im super curious now!