August, Kigali

 

yoga at Umbaranga Art Studio
Yoga at Umbaranga Studio
yoga class at Inema Arts Centre
Inema art centre – yoga class

 

 

 

Zebras
Zebras!
Those who pass you on the street
‘Those who pass you on the street’

 

theatre
Festival
so courful!
Fabric shopping!

 

so cute
so cute!
starteing to charge at a tour bus!
getting ready to charge a tour bus!
walking home
walking home
mother and baby
Graceful
Musanze early evening
Musanze

 

just chilling in the morning sun

local art centre - supporting women and children
local art gallery
hippos
hippo beach

 

fabric shopping
fabrics!

 

down town
Friday afternoon downtown Kigali

 

 

Hello everyone,

I am into the 8th week of my assignment in Rwanda and time is moving very quickly!  Working on the MCSP (Maternal and Child Survival Programme) within the Monitoring and Evaluation Team has been going well. The team are working on two important initiatives, the improvement of Essential Newborn Care/ Helping Babies Breathe services and also family planning.  I recently attended a training session and workshop which involved discussions on the successes and challenges, it was great to see the enthusiasm in the groups and also learn of the impact the initiatives have made to date.  I am looking forward to continuing working on the programme.

I’m getting quite familiar with getting around Kigali, I’ve even managed to give tourists directions!  I have had a few trips out of town too. The more I see and do, the more I like it.  There is so much going on, many events are not widely advertised but I’ve managed to catch a few things!

The Ubumuntu Arts Festival was held at the Kigali Genocide Memorial outdoor amphitheatre, a lovely setting. It was supported by the Aegis Trust, a genocide prevention organisation working to prevent mass atrocities and build peace around the world.   It was a very enjoyable evening with live music, dance, theatre and poetry performances from countries all over the world demonstrating their difficult times with a focus on forgiveness and peace.  To my surprise there was a short play from Ireland ‘Those you pass on the street’ it was excellent and really made my night!

I travelled out of town to Musanze District up in the North West of Rwanda, the scenery on the journey from Kigali through the hills was amazing. The town of Musanze is in contrast to hilly Kigali it is very flat, it was funny to see the bicycle taxis rather than motos spinning around.   Like Kigali, it is colourful, lively and friendly, although there was less traffic and it seemed to have a calmer and slower vibe.  It was much chillier and rained so I didn’t get to see the views of the volcanoes.  There seemed to be quite a few tourists on gorilla trekking trips staying in town.  Something I need to plan on.

A Sunday safari in Akagera in the Eastern province of Rwanda was a real treat. We set off before sunrise and managed to see zebras, giraffes, monkeys, antelope, buffalo and hippos.  The hippos were a bit shy and stayed sleeping in the water, not even budging when birds landed on them.  The crocodiles were also keeping a low profile although we managed to see one lying low in a lake.  The elephants also were around but keeping a safe distance and the lions were sadly nowhere to be seen, although we did see some evidence that they had eaten through the night…  great day 🙂

A weekend in Kigali goes in really easily. Browsing around the shops, fabric stalls and markets is very fun.  Bargaining can bee a little tricky, I am never sure if I’ve got a good deal!  I have finally managed to master the local bus service, it was a little daunting on the first trip, but people were very kind and helpful.   I catch two buses to get into the town centre and it costs a grand total of 400RWF about 40 pence, not bad compared to 4000RWF for a taxi (I am too scared to use a moto)!

24 comments

  1. Great pictures and story! (I am too scared to use a moto)! Ha, ha, me too 🙂 what about the Bajaj (tuk-tuk)?

    1. Thank you Mary. I’ve seen too many accidents on my travels, I’m sticking to walking, buses and taxis! don’t see too many tuk-tuks!

  2. Thanks for taking me back in time. Great pics and blog.
    Have the rhinos arrived to Akagera?
    Have you ventured to Kimironko market? Like downtown but more intense!
    And for the Gorilla’s, have either a 6 month visa or wait for your second 3 month one to get the 50% discount.
    Enjoy!

    1. Hi Christos, It’s like you said, a great city :). Not been to Kimironko yet, although it does sound v good, maybe this weekend. I hope to go to Gorilla’s do you have details of who you booked that through? thanks, Bridin

  3. It looks and sounds like you are really enjoying yourself Bridin! Those fabrics are amazing. I look forward to reading more of your blogs.

  4. Hi Bridin
    Enjoying your posts it seems so interesting and quite an experience ! Love the photos ! Look after yourself! And hopefully see u soon xx
    Love claire x

    1. Thanks Claire, all going good, it really is an experience. This week out at the health clinics I’ve seen and learned so much more. They are much more basic and less comfortable than what we are used to seeing, but well run and clean. I got to hold a little new born baby girl, so tiny and cute.

  5. Hi Bridie!!! Tried to write on your 1st blog but it was erased a few times! Your blogs are great and what an adventure U are having! Also love your photos! Am X

    1. thanks Anne-Marie, It’s going good. I’ve been out at clinics this week, its been fascinating. Bxx

  6. Hi Bridin, What a wonderful experience you are able to transfer into words. So glad you are taking in all there is to offer and enjoying your experience. Your walk home in the sunset looks serene.

    1. cheers Claudette, it really is a nice city and every weekend we find new things:) it is great to have the other two pulse people here at the weekend. We went to a woman’s centre yesterday, beautiful arts and crafts made and sold there. they do a tour and talk, going to try to catch it next weekend.
      Hope all is going well with you.

  7. Hi Bridina, you are changing my views on Rwanda!! it looks so peaceful and beautiful! I am in Haiti myself, it first sounds like “oh, the caribbean!!” but I actually can’t go to markets in my free time nor use public transport like you do, inexistant, and the city is not that friendly… 😦 Enjoy and keep posting!

    1. thank you Albane. True Haiti does sound misleading! that sounds very difficult not being able to feel free to explore. Do you have other pulse people there to hang out with?

  8. Love this!! It sounds like you’re having an amazing time- and I’m so happy to hear that things are getting easier- it all starts to come together, doesn’t it? I love reading your blog; thank you for sharing your experiences!!! Good work and amazing adventures!

  9. Nice Bridin, you really captured the vibe here! AND, how come your safari pix are so much better than mine!?!?!

  10. I absolutely love the photo of your walk home and the pictures of the animals. I love that you have learned your way around well enough to help tourists with directions- that is awesome. You ladies were fantastic in helping Federica and I get a nice feel for Kigali. It is such a clean and beautiful place. I met a lady last week who survived the genocide who is here in Uganda. I am supposed to meet with her later today. She has a small orphanage for children in her home. The genocide memorial is such a lovely tribute to those who had to experience those horrific events. Anyone who visits, should visit there- it is very eye opening and really lets one know they really don’t have problems…

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