three weeks in Kigali

PULSE buddies
PULSE buddies
local shop
my local shop
craft market
craft market
my local shop
my local
10 july 2016 045
first run in Kigali

I’ve been here in Kigali for 3 weeks and am beginning to feel more settled. I’m getting to know everyone at work, I’ve moved into an apartment, found a yoga class and started running!

My apartment is very conveniently situated 5 minutes walk to the office. It is in  Kacyiru, a nice part of town close to many of the embassies. Nearby is the National Library, it has a roof top café with great wifi, fruit juices and lattes, needless to say I am a regular visitor.  Getting sorted in the apartment has been a tad challenging…. learning how to top up electricity credit, get internet etc but I am almost there :).

Shopping for groceries and household items has been fascinating and helpful in getting to know my way around. It has been great doing this with my PULSE buddies Tamsin and Robin at the weekends who are also getting settled with accommodation. There are quite a few big supermarkets which in combination sell almost everything although you may have to go to several to get all that you need!  Besides great local produce, they sell many familiar brands at very inflated prices.  The markets in town also sell a huge range of household goods and food, mostly fresh fruit, vegetables, beans and lots more. I also have a few little shops close by which are great for picking up water and snacks.

Downtown Kigali is very busy, noisy and colourful. There is a big security presence, armed police and army are regularly around most areas and bags are searched going into each shopping centre, not unlike Belfast when I was growing up.

On 4th July there was a public holiday to commemorate the end of the genocide in 1994.   During this time of year there were many genocide memorial services.   Visiting the Genocide Memorial Centre in Kigali was informative and important for me to learn more of the history.   The staff of Jhpiego in Kigali very generously each made a personal donation to a group of genocide survivors living in poor circumstances in a small village about an hour north of Kigali.  The much needed food supplies in addition to a cash donation were gratefully received.  This is a link to the coverage in the local news, it is in Kinyarwanda, but the pictures tell the story.

I’m still enjoying walking in Kigali, the hills certainly do give you a workout, and this morning I went for my first run.  Not having run in a few weeks, I took it slow, it was a lovely morning, the birds were singing and there wasn’t much traffic around.   I was joined by a group children running along side me for a while, they were very funny, laughing and making fun of me!  The yoga class is also a fantastic work out, it is held in really cool art gallery and for me guarantees a wonderful restful nights sleep!

Work is going well. I’m enjoying meeting everyone and getting settled in.  I look forward to seeing the beautiful scenery as well as learning about the programme in Musanze this week.


  1. Great to hear you are settling in well Bridin. Look forward to hearing more about your assignment work and how you are finding the adaptation to working with Jhpiego.

  2. Glad to hear that you are settling in well and that work is going well. Like to see more pictures of your colourful environment and I hope you get your volunteer visa soon.

  3. Glad you are settling in. It sounds like a beautiful place to be able to take on your assignment. Keep sending the blogs, and the lovely pictures

  4. Great to hear Bridin. You’re looking good on the photos. Look forward to hearing more about your work and of course about your life in general in your new surroundings. Take care

  5. Love hearing about your time over there Bridie – fab photos – keep them coming. Very impressed you are running too 🏃😎👟 frankie xxx

  6. Reblogged this on PULSE Volunteer Partnership and commented:

    Hi Bridin! Best of luck for your assignment.I’m sure you will also enjoy the company of Tamsin. She’s very nice.Please keep updating about your work in Jpiego.
    Nazir Ahmad
    PULSE Volunteer

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