Rwanda Travel Blog

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Every step of this trip has been an amazing adventure for me.  Pushing me to do things and take risks that I normaly would not do in my "perfectly safe" world here in the states.  I love the adventure and exitement that Africa has to offer.

We were up and on the road at 6am.  There were 7 of us all togather that really wanted to go to Rwanda.  We were so close to the border that if we didnt go we would regret it for the rest of our lives. 

It was dusk as we started off.  The scenery was beautiful, however we were all filled with a strange eeriness as we were going to visit the Genocide memorial.  Millions of inocent people were brutely murderd.  Parents forced to kill their own children, and children their parents.

  Woman were raped and people were tourtured.  I read about it and saw it on the news, however nothing was to prepare me for what was to come.

The border was dark and strangely quiet.  We left Uganda, and were in no mans zone between the two countrys.  There were bullet holes everywhere, and guys with machine guns searching the car and we had to go through customs to get into Rwanda.  Normaly I guess they do not like americans that much.  British passport holders they like because when the Genocide was taking place, the British were the only people to help them when the rest of the world........the united nations.....and especially the usa stood by and watched.  I was so nervous when I was standing in front of the officer.

  He was stone faced and looked super mean.  He kept checking my passport and looking at his computer.....then me, etc.   Finally he smilled and said "Obama, number 1 !!" and he gave me a thumbs up sign.  I was soooooooooo releived, and I was like " Oh yea!!!  Obama!  Very good! "

I guess normaly up till December USA citizens had to pay a 60 visa fee, but now that Obama is president they like us, and we dont have to pay any money.....same as the British people.  YiPpPpPy.  I was so releived.  That whole ordeal was a little sketchy.  :)

Along the way we stopped to play with some local children.  The really good thing about going off and doing stuff on our own, is that we hired our own transport and driver, so we can have them stop anytime so we can interact with the real people.

  On the tour, we cant do that.  I love playing with the kids, and trying to make their day a little brighter by making them happy.  I also like them to see that not all americans are rich and stuck up because that is a misconception that alot of them believe.  I am glad I can represent my country as kind and caring, and can make the children happy.

We drove another hour or so untill we got to the city.  We visited the hotel that was made famous by the movie "Hotel Rwanda."  It was hard to believe that people were safe behind these walled gates, and dining and enjoying their lives while people were getting mass murdered out side the gates.  It was kinda hard to fathem.  Crazy!

After that we headed to the Genocide Memorial.

  I was deepley saddened by what I learned, however I did well untill the end when I ended up in a room painted black with spotlights lighting up the walls strung with silver clothsline and clothspins holding photos of hundreds of thousands of men, woman, and children that had gotton murdered.  These were real people with real famileys that loved them.  Their familey members had put the photos of them here in the memorial.  It was a little too much for me to handle and I fell to the bench and cried like a baby.  Its hard to explain, but it was very overwhelming.  I cant believe people would do these things over people being born to a different race, or familey name.  It was rediculous.

It took ma about 10 minuts to compose myself, then I headed outside.

  They had mass graves with fresh flowers that people leave daily.  Also there was a reflecting pool with an eternal flame.

We left the memorial, and headed back into the city to get lunch.  We ate in an italian restaurant, and had pizza!  I was quite exited to eat pizza.  It was the closest I got to normal food on the whole trip!  After lunch, we headed back to Uganda.  Border crossing was much easier this time, but we still got back to base camp sooooo late.  Then we had to tell everyone where we had gone that day.  Hahahaha, that was exiting.  Oh well.

Tomorow I am going to a Pygmee Village on an island , and I am going to relax and canoe on this beautiful lake.  It is the largest crater lake in Uganda.  I get to go Gorilla Trekking on Sunday in the Congo.  I heard from other groups that it was the crazyest experiance of their lives, but they couldnt tell us because they didnt want to ruin it for us.

I am definatly going to sleap well tonight!

cordobazo says:
Amazing blog man, congratulations. Don't know if you got an award for this or not, but this kind of blogs are the chalenging to write about. Really hard reality. Probably for you it is really valuable experience and has real meaning.
Definitely want to epxerience it myself.
Thanks for sharing
Posted on: Oct 14, 2009
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