The first week in Rwanda has been amazing so far. We are only 5 days in, but I can already see that this country is a very special place filled with great people. So much has gone on, that it’s hard to list everything. Lisanne has done a great job of keeping us busy and introducing us to all sorts of people. Instead of giving a detailed list of what we’ve done I’m going to share some of my highlights, and challenges.
Some initial things I’ve noticed since I have been here:
There is a lot of English in Kigali, not only on signs and billboards, but I even hear Rwandese speak to each other in English. I didn’t expect this, and while I am sure this will be different once we get out East it is a nice surprise.
I definitely feel very secure. There are many guards everywhere, but instead of that making me feel uneasy I am glad to know they are around. In general, though I don’t feel unsafe at any point, although I know I still have to keep my guard up.
The views here are phenomenal. They are truly second to none. Also you are almost always on a hill so there is always a view.
Aside from the view, the weather is as great as they say it is. It is a perfect temperature at night, and hopefully it stays like this all year.
Brochettes which are skewers of barbecued goat meat are absolutely delicious, and probably my favorite food I’ve had in Rwanda so far.
I really like the vibe of our hostel, it is mostly used as a recreation center. So there is a pool, and a bowling alley, and volleyball courts. So it is always got a good amount of people buzzing around, like a kid’s birthday party, or people singing.
I really enjoy all the people I’ve met so far, many of them know the previous fellows so they are very welcoming.
Some of the challenges:
Thursday our first full day, we started out by going to the bank. This whole process was one of the most confusing things I have done in a while. We were shooed from room to room, to fill out multiple forms, and at the end we were told to come back in 3 weeks to finish the process. That was when I started to realize how some bureaucratic things will work over here.
Next we went to get our phones set up, but my phone was not unlocked and we took it to a store in a back alley who could unlock phones, they tried to charge 100 USD and say it would take up to ten days. Luckily I called Sprint and they could do it for free, and it would take 3-5 business days. So I am without a phone for a little while, which has also been a bit of a challenge.
However, tomorrow we are going out East for the first time. I am so excited I can’t sleep. I’m actually writing this blog at 4:30 in the morning, because no matter how hard I try I can’t stop thinking of all the possibilities, and what I am going to see tomorrow. My mind has been racing all night. But for now I am going to have to count sheep or something because I imagine it will be a long day.