Monday, February 12, 2007

Kigali to Gisenyi

After leaving the children behind we set out on our drive to Gisenyi in the northeast corner of Rwanda along Lake Kivu. The drive to Gisenyi is beautiful, we travelled through the mountains along narrow, winding roads, the occasional pothole which became more occasional the farther we drove from Kigali. Rwanda has such beautiful vegetation, it is unlike any other country, flora, vegetation I've ever seen. The mountains are lush, with vivacious red dirt (vivacious really does describe the dirt even though those two ideas are generally not coupled), banana trees growing alongside the mountains, chocolatey brown rivers and waterfalls, small villages snuggled close to the roads composed of either huts or little brick buildings. The scenery was so beautiful, and varied, and a photographer could spend months there and produce multiple books and still not run out of material. The Rwandese are very industrious, the roads have a steady stream of human traffic walking, biking, carrying food, items, babies, anything that could be carried. If these people were to enter the Olympics for distance running, the competition could change, every day they trek up and down mountainsides carrying loads of bricks, carrots, bananas, trees, water, everything they could possibly need on their heads or pushing bikes, or in other contraptions they've invented.

We arrived in Gisenyi around 7 and bedded down for the night 15 minutes away from the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Saturday we met with our member Jacques from the Congo for breakfast and then travelled across the border. We walked across the border beside Lake Kivu. The border is quite an interesting place, security must do its job since so many people were clamouring to get visas on both sides, but I don't know how they keep track of who has visas since there is such a crowd of people at the windows and away from the windows they don't check too closely. I've got to run now. Caroline is letting me use the internet at her work, but it's getting dark now and we need to walk back to her house. I'll tell more about DRC when I get another chance.

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