Sunday, 21 January 2018

Struggling with blog

Hello everyone from sunny Rwanda. I’m struggling with the blog this time so there will only be text. If you are on Facebook you can link to our Facebook Page ‘Village Rwanda’ which I have been using regularly. Sorry about that, the software makers seem to have changed things and I can’t insert photos on here easily.

After spending three days in .kigali sorting out money and airtime and meeting with friends I travelled on the familiar three and half hour bus journey to Kibuye. I was met by Theogene and we greeted each other warmly. We decided to take a shared car on the next part of our journey, cramped but quicker, now that there is a new tarmac road. Arriving at the boat landing stage at Mugonero our new boat, generously provided by the comgregation of Norden and Bamford Chapel, was waiting for us.
The walk along the grassy bank to the boat is beautiful. It is a piece of land which juts out and the first thing I always notice is the agriculture to the left, it always used to be rice (umuceri) but now half of it is rice and the other half is maize (ibigore). During the day this provides work for many people. Next we pass the reed bed where we are startled by a flash of orange and deep deep black. A most noticeable bird perches in the reeds, alongside the reed warblers, busy making their intriguing nests. We stop to admire the wildlife and I decide it’s time I leant something about the birds of Rwanda. Further on and almost there there are two massive metal boats moored and the ‘sand-digger men are hard at work filtering sand from the river bed before it makes its way to the lake. This is back breaking work and the men of all ages often stop for a chat and a laugh. They shovel the sand into wheelbarrows and push it up the ramps connected to the massive metal boats. When the boats are loaded the sand is taken south down the lake to Cyangugu to be used in building.

Eventually we reach the boat and I’ve already had lots of stimulating experiences! Patrick, the captain and Prince the assistant greet us like the old friends we are. My first ride in our very own boat!! It’s such a smooth and relaxing experience to have a boat trip when the lake is calm and it was that day. We arrived at the lakeshore and were greeted by Gaudance our teacher and the fishermen mending their nets, ready for the next catch. They are very cheeky as you might expect of men who spend their days in such a tough job. Many people in this area have come originally from Cyangugu because the fishing is good and over the years they have decided to settle here in the village.

Up the hill between the bananas, cassava and maize, passing Mango trees and avocado trees on our way we reach the top and emerge into bright sunshine. I’m here!

It’s two years since I’ve been in Rwanda and the capital city Kigali is hotter and busier than ever!

There are a lot of new buildings, the road layouts have changed and it’s been a little bit confusing. I got on the bus and was asked for my travel card - blank look from me ! I was able to give a fellow passenger my cash and he used his travel card on my behalf. So no serious concerns but I must get down to the brand new bus station and get myself an oyster.... oops travel card!

I’m sorted with telephone airtime, internet connection and cash so I just need to telephone the bus company to book my ticket for tomorrow. I wonder if the telephone number has changed too?

Big success with the search for blackboard paint! Sourced it in Muhanga, paid for it by Mobile Money and it’s going on the bus to Theogene as I write! Get in!!!

Monday, 8 January 2018

Off to Rwanda again!

Hello everyone. What a long time it is since I wrote my blog.... I’ve almost forgotten how to do it.

My suitcases are almost packed and travel documents ready. My flight is early Tuesday morning from Manchester airport and I’ll arrive in Kigali on Tuesday evening.

I’ll keep you posted, best wishes Tricia