Discovering Central East Africa (Volume 3, Rwanda)




The country with a thousand hills and million smiles...

Not in vain have they called this country that way. Rwanda is a tiny piece of Africa, it is a place rich in nature, history and people with incredible needs.

Intense questioning at the airport's migration area began my discovery of this (contradictorily) green but arid city (Kigali). Different than in many European or American countries, in theory developed places and (some) engaged with the "Save the Planet" slogans, Rwanda is a country with a very important recycling commitment (No plastic bags are allowed through the airport).

A city tour that lasted less than 10 minutes, but that showed the safety of the American Embassy, the location of the humble UNICEF office (where my brother used to work), and important monument where - according to my brother - brides and grooms go to take wedding pictures at.

My brother's place...

In order to access the house there was a non asphalted road1, decorated with very few electric lighting. A cozy attic welcomed the first one of the family to visit T.M. in Africa. Some family pictures and african paintings were hanging in the wall. The attic had a balcony that provided a view to an artificial lake. From there, an interesting panoramic of what was about to come from my Rwandan trip.





UNICEF

A coffee, a shower and we were out.









Rwanda's weather is very similar to then one in DR. But when you have been living in a place with 4 seasons, you lose fit. Exposing myself to the incredible sun rays, the sweating like an animal sensation and the incredible fight with my brother (that included crying and yelling because he didn't call a taxi) was the entertainment for the 10 minute walk to the office (the truth: 30 minute walk, my rythm). People here were very friendly, they asked me about the places I have already been at and about the upcoming destinations. As per all the comments received, it seems that my brother had been doing a great job and gave the office his dominican flavor.







Food












Shokola, a chic restaurant in East Africa - probably one of the bests in Kigali - with a menu mainly focused on indian food. Good taste, decent service. I even asked the waitress to let me take her a picture and as a way to thank she came with a huge desert that neither my brother nor I could finish.










Next stop: renting a car... (To be continued in Volume 4)





Notes:







1 Non asphalted road: Most of the areas that are actually asphalted are mainly the ones located nearby/in rich neighborhoods. Nevertheless this doesn't mean that the roads aren't even more clean than in many european cities.







Additional Notes:




  • Food service: In Africa, food service requires of at least 30 minutes of waiting.


  • People in Rwanda do not have a sense of space respect. In many cases I was standing watching a video in a museum and someone would go before me and would not let me continue my watching. They do not mean it in a rude way, but it seems to me that they were just not educated to give people some space and respect each ones area.


  • Kinyarwanda is the main dialect in Rwanda. They also speak - not everybody and not necessarly both of them (this depends on the place and period of time they were raised - english and french.


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