Little Switzerland part 2

Rwanda Travel Blog

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A typical dwelling.

On ground level, Kigali is a whole lot more impressive.  Not that is was any less impoverished from this level, but the landscape was so incredible!  I was finally starting to understand why they call this country little Switzerland.  On our first morning in Kigali I discovered a whole other side to Rwanda that I did not know about--they grow a wide variety of tropical fruit.  Yeah, I know, I kept forgetting we were almost on top of the equator.  At any rate, breakfast was a fruit-lover's delight.  We had fresh bananas, pineapple, papya, passion fruit, and two or three other species I wasn't familiar with.  Besides the fruit, Rwanda also produces potatoes, tea, and coffee.

Rwanda citizens own small plots of ground for farming--here you can see a woman working in her plot.
  We were told, in fact, that Starbucks buys a lot of their coffe from Rwanda.  Without a doubt, though, the two crops you can't avoid are the bananas and potatoes.

Tourism isn't one of this country's leading industries, but the genocide memorials and the Hôtel des Mille Collines, also known as Hotel Rwanda, are the most common stops for visitors.  One particular memorial we went to was a church where several hundred men, women, and children of the Tutsi tribe were slaughtered in one day.  These people were told to go to the church because they would be safe from the onslaught of the Hutus.  Once they were inside, however, the Hutus threw grenades into the church and then went in and killed all who were still alive.

This lady was wearing the more traditional clothing, more often seen outside of the city.
  The bodies were never removed, and to this day, their skeletal remains lie untouched.  It is a moving experience to walk in that church and imagine the carnage.  There were also shelves inside that had been lined with literally thousands of skulls.  Okay, onto a lighter subject . . . if not as depressing.

NO INTERNET!!!  I was told before going to Rwanda that our hotel had wireless internet, and as I do much of my business online, this was an important part of the equation.  I did manage to find an internet cafe but the speed was so ridiculously slow that I gave up after wasting an entire morning, and all for 6,000 francs.  I wasn't alone, though.  We had American friends staying at the Hôtel des Mille Collines (these friends had deeper pockets, if you get my drift) and they didn't have internet, either.

I took this of my friend Charles, waiting impatiently for the slow internet at the cafe.

Our first shopping experience in Kigali was at the city's only mall.  It actually wasn't half bad.  My only complaint was that I couldn't find one single store who sold men's underwear, although women's underwear, particularly the thong variety, seemed to be in abundant supply.  Hey, I never wore women's underwear before and I wasn't about to start with thongs.  Anyway, my dilemma began when I discovered that someone with Kenya Airlines had stolen everything out of my luggage pouches in either Nairobi or Kigali.  Some of the items taken included all of my "unmentionables" (I later bought several new pair at a market in Ruhengeri).  Now when I look back on it, maybe I had the last laugh, though.   Afterall, the thiefs probably didn't go to work that day hoping they'd extract some boxers from a suitcase.

KeikoCreative says:
Can imagine, is really bad:(
Posted on: Jul 06, 2008
pearcetoyou says:
Well, personally, I think the thiefs were hoping for something more valuable than underwear:))
Posted on: Mar 06, 2008
alicegourmet says:
Definitely you had a memorable journey...I bet your "unmentionables" must be very stylish or the fitting is so tailor-made for the thiefs!
;-)
Posted on: Mar 06, 2008
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A typical dwelling.
A typical dwelling.
Rwanda citizens own small plots of…
Rwanda citizens own small plots o…
This lady was wearing the more tra…
This lady was wearing the more tr…
I took this of my friend Charles, …
I took this of my friend Charles,…
Giving away toys in Nyanga Rwanda.
Giving away toys in Nyanga Rwanda.
We were doing some filming and the…
We were doing some filming and th…
They love getting their pictures t…
They love getting their pictures …
Lake Kivu.  Some of the canoes wer…
Lake Kivu. Some of the canoes we…
The locals in Ruhengeri gathering …
The locals in Ruhengeri gathering…
Getting gifts from some of the loc…
Getting gifts from some of the lo…