Kabuye

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Looking out on Lake Kivu from where we ate lunch in Kibuye.

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.

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The church in Kibuye where we saw the genocide memorial.

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.

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Three of the kids who followed us to our swimming spot have fun posing for the camera.

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.

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Jessica shows the kids the photos of themselves on her camera.

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.

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  • Nice to see you back online. I’ve gotten used to hearing from you fairly regularly, even if you are on the other side of the world…

    It’s sobering to hear you traveling the roads in Rwanda that so recently were running with blood. I’ll be interested to hear what you think of the genocide memorial. I hope it’s having the effect that people wanted, which is to serve as a reminder of how horribly wrong things can go when hatred and prejudice are exploited.

    Unfortunately, we don’t have to look far to see that the world has not learned the lessons of Rwanda. Just today, a congresswoman and several other people were shot in Arizona – presumably for their “liberal” beliefs. Luckily, she looks like she’ll live, but at least one small child was killed and several wounded. Sure, the guy was likely crazy but all the exploitive rhetoric about how liberal views need to be stamped out probably encouraged his madness. It’s a crazy world.

    Take care wherever you are but remember that you are surrounded by good people. Thanks for sharing your experiences so honestly. It’s good for us to hear about the positive side of Africa and realize that it’s full of people living their lives, just like all of us.

  • Karen

    Thanks for the updates Jaime. Can’t believe all the incredible things you are doing! You’ve really maximized your time there. It flew by (at least from our perspective) and soon you’ll be re-united with your family. We had a nice visit with Kelly (and a brief one with Cory) before the holidays ended. Can’t wait to see you too, and to see and hear more about your travels.