Although our plan originally had been to take a bus from Rwanda back to Kampala on Sunday, the delays with visas meant that there was no way for us to visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre before Monday. Since it was important to us to be able to go there during our time in Rwanda, we decided to take a night bus back to Kampala on Monday instead. The extra day allowed us the opportunity to take a day trip to Kabuye, another lakeside town about two and a half hours outside Kigali. Sune, a Danish traveller who was a few months into a year and a half of travel, had plans to head onto Tanzania and so wasn’t able to come, but the other four of us boarded a bus Sunday morning and endured a very windy trip through hilly countryside. As had happened to Kristen on previous bus trips on Rwandan roads, the person next to her wasn’t such a fan of the twists and turns and ended up vomiting on the floor of the bus. Needless to say, we were very happy to reach our destination shortly after that.
We ate lunch at a beautiful spot high above the lake, and then headed over to a nearby church that was one of the places where people had sought refuge during the genocide, only to discover that it offered no protection to them at all. The church is still in use, and there had been a service taking place when we passed it on our way to lunch. In front, they had planted a memorial gardens for victims, and in the windows of a small building at the back of the garden were skulls of people who had been killed there. Quite a grisly reminder of the fact that only 16 years have passed since that horrible period in Rwanda’s history.
From the church, we found a road down to the lake, and found a spot to relax by the water. Apparently five mzungus in town was not an everyday sight, and so we attracted quite a crowd to our little spot on the lake. The kids were very friendly, and swam with Kristen and Jessica when they went for a dip in the water. They were also fascinated to discover our cameras, and spent quite a while posing for photos and then scrambling over to see themselves on the camera screen. One of the boys borrowed Jessica’s sunglasses for the afternoon, vamping it up for the camera and then reluctantly returning them to her when it was time for us to leave.
We arrived back in Kigali around seven, and found another nice restaurant not far from where we were staying. It was movie night when we arrived, so we caught the last few minutes of “Dinner for Schmucks” (a Steve Carrell film) and enjoyed another great outdoor meal. It ended up being quite a long day by the time we’d walked back to our dorms, but it was great to have the chance to see more of Rwanda.