lake muhazi

after breakfast this morning we piled nine new volunteers and a couple old ones into one of the dilapidated taxi-buses that you find crawling all over kigali’s potholed streets, for a ride out of town. we’ve taken these taxis a few times so i’m getting used to the smell of exhaust and lack of elbow room (though i hear they usually seat eighteen and we had only twelve). we were headed to lake muhazi in the east (mom, dad, go check the map!) which is close to where i’ll be working. it’s the first time i’d been out of town since we got here and it was refreshing – green terraced mountains full of banana trees, valleys of sugar cane, accented with the red dusty roads. along the way we passed women with baskets on their heads, men with bundles of sugar cane, some on duct-taped bicycles, and loads of little kids who stopped to stare at the bus full of foreigners. we got mostly waves, smiles, hellos, a few double-takes.

over the last week we’ve been fairly isolated in our guest house, making little trips in wider and wider circles, which is probably a great way to let us acclimatize without overwhelming us right away. just the ten minute walk to the internet cafe is an adventure in itself, like walking through a scene from a movie or something – no pavement anywhere, people everywhere, dressed in everything from tattered t-shirts to hand-tailored colorful dresses, selling green bananas or odd trinkets off flimsy tables set up on the sidewalk, many simply hanging around sharing a laugh with friends. the first day was a little unnerving, with crowds of africans staring at us, but i’m feeling more and more comfortable and i’m encouraged by seeing how naturally the serving volunteers move about town.

i couldn’t get any street scene pictures because they’ve told us not to take photos of people without asking and i haven’t gotten up the courage yet, but here’s a taste of rwandan landscape and a look at the internet cafe i’m sending this out of.

internet cafe bicycle boat

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~ by aliciawolcott on January 21, 2007.

One Response to “lake muhazi”

  1. Well, it’s greener than I was expecting. Put up more pictures! No stories of stomach bugs or heat exhaustion – that’s a relief. Ben says watch out for worms.

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