I have been a little quiet on the blog because of transitioning from school-holiday-work. I also noticed a few inconsistencies of the blog with my career goals, and have debated for long on how far I can take this blogging adventure. I decided to do it until, perhaps December this year then I can come to an anticipated stop (which for me is different from ‘giving up’ or ‘failing to keep at something I started’.
On to my Rwanda-Uganda round trip! (Will do a three part series to avoid doing one extra long one)
This was done as a little pat on my back for finishing a six year journey that was architecture school. It was supposed to be Rwanda-Burundi as I’ve been to Uganda a couple of times; but Nkurunziza happened about two weeks to my trip.
I had been saving for about six months (I’ll do a post later on travelling on a budget and ways that you can save)
I took a flight to Rwanda where I was hosted for 8 nights, then took a bus to Uganda where I stayed at a hotel for another week (well 6 days). While in Rwanda, I took a road trip to the lake town, Kibuye (because a trip is hardly complete without the luxury of a water body). Also, Rwanda is a small country and one should visit more than just one town. I learnt that the furthest location from Kigali would take around 4-5 hours, which pretty much means you can visit all the provinces in the span of a week or two.
I might add that my host was in class doing presentations for his final exam when I landed so I attended an architectural studio session at Kigali institute of Science and technology.
The security checks in Rwanda are proper! My suitcase was opened at the gate house of the uni and scanned so thoroughly, I began to suspect myself. No leaving chances to bra metals here. I left it there and proceeded to class, hehe.
I visited the genocide museum on day two. There are no words that can describe adequately the emotions one goes through in that space. I spent around four hours in there (see why I love sole travels). Tears were inevitable. The Rwandese don’t like to dwell on the genocide much (totally understandable) so your best bet for information would be the museums set up in remembrance. The Kigali genocide museum is the main one. I didn’t take too many photos here.
The memorial concludes with sections on the search for justice through the international tribunal in Arusha as well as the local gacaca courts (traditional tribunals headed by village elders). I found this traditional justice system very inspiring.
It is important to note that the Rwanda genocide is not the only genocide that has happened. The museum documents others that have taken place around the world. It is also not a window through which to view the people. I met the most friendly, patriotic, forward-thinking people during my time there.
I had told a couple of friends about my trip to Rwanda before departure and this worked amazingly well because two people had contacts there, which meant two free sightseeing sessions/dates. Went for an early dinner with a relative of a friend of mine and got this view.
Due to the length of the post, I’ll do a part two next week. I’ll be talking the road trip to lake Kivu and some exotic resort, my visit to the museum of natural history, my night out, my hosts and much more.
Now, I need to pack for maasai mara’s trip early tomorrow.
Keep up the nomad spirit 🙂