by Mikolaj Czerwinski
Richard and I arrived in Rwanda 3 weeks ago and now as we’ve got access to the blog we’re intending to blog about our experiences here. Hopefully, you’ll find our posts interesting and we’ll be able to familiarize you with East Africa at least a bit.
Although the trip was long, our excitement about the trip overcame the tiredness so we were ready to walk around Kigali and sort out the most important issues. We met some of DHE members in the Discover Rwanda Youth Hostel and while waiting for the rest of their team to arrive we’d started our search for a house. Over the next couple of days we’ve found 3 potential places. After a number of very interesting meetings with estate agents and landlords we decided to rent a house in a neighbourhood called Kacyiru. It’s a nice house with a garden and a beautiful view of the city.
When DHE team was moving in, Richard and I decided to visit one of our kiosks in the district of Bugasera. We took a small old bus and enjoying public transportation in Rwanda we went to Rweru – the sector where our kiosk is. On the way there I was given lessons of Kinyarwanda pronunciation. It was a market day and as Batima is very close to the border there were a lot of people from both Rwanda and Burundi. It was very interesting to see all of them and all of the things that they were selling including sandals cut out of old tyres or radios being just the circuit boards with speakers attached. At first we went to the kiosk to check up on it and then we met the leader of Rweru sector. He mentioned that our project is really important for the community and people are willing to use it.
Later as we had to wait for our bus back home we decided to go to a local bar and grab a traditional goat brochette and spicy grilled bananas. Afterwards we went for a short walk around the village. Suddenly we were surrounded by many kids as ‘Abazungu’ (word in Kinyarwanda meaning a foreigner, a traveller) is not a very common thing to see.
Our biggest mistake was to take a shortcut through primary school. All the kids had stopped their activities and just ran after us to greet us or talk to us. Unfortunately our Kinyarwanda abilities were not sufficient to involve in a long conversation but those few phrases were enough to surprise them. Soon after we left Batima and went back to Kigali to our new home.
These were our first 5 days in Rwanda in which we managed not only to visit a part of this beautiful country of ‘a thousand hills’ but also to attend a couple of meetings with NGOs, Kigali Institute of Science and Technology representatives and Ministry of Infrastructure officials.
Please follow us. We’ll post again soon describing our adventures.