Sidenote: I apologize in advance for the length of this post… There were just so many moments that happened over the course of the weekend that were worth noting down, and sharing!
Jamie, Chris and I woke up early on Saturday, and taxied to the Kigali bus station, a place bustling with over 50 mini bus companies, each with its own brightly coloured stall. We paid a bus fare of 2500 RwF (~$4 USD) for the local bus, and embarked on the three hour trek to Kibuye. For the first half of the trip, I had to sit on a fold-out middle seat, with a small backrest. I learnt that I need to work on my upper body strength, as I was flailing around from side to side each turn we took. The boys rested for a bit, but for the most part we just stared out the window, in utter amazement.
When we arrived in Kibuye, 12 moto-taxis surrounded us asking if we wanted a ride. We wanted to stroll through town though, and they followed us for a good five minutes before realizing we were adamant on just walking around. We felt pretty good about ourselves for committing to our walking plan, but soon realized that we had walked 25 minutes in the wrong direction, and that our hotel was over a 45 minute walk the opposite way. We were also told that there were no car taxis that could take us all the way to our hotel, and that we'd have to take a moto-taxi. So we waited, as they had all left us a while back, and finally flagged down three motos. And I went on my first motorcycle ride ever! It must have been quite the sight: the three of us sporting bright red helmets, straddling the motorcycle drivers and holding on to them for dear life! I was pretty scared at first, but we made them promise to go slow, and it was truly a great time! The roads this time were on the edge of the cliff over the gorgeous Lake Kivu, so it was quite the incredible scenery for my first motorcycle experience!
In the afternoon, we took a boat ride in Lake Kivu, which was simply stunning.
Lake Kivu is a gorgeous lake, with many small islands, and a view of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the back. The boat was pretty creaky, but aside from those noises, it was so nice just sitting there on the edge letting the wind blow through our hair, with nature all around us.
We stopped at the village known as Luisa, and walked around for some time in the hills. We trekked up a zig zagged path up a very well maintained hill, and found it completely deserted up top. There was a beautiful gazebo at the edge of the cliff and we just sat and relaxed for a bit, breathing in the fresh air. I wanted us to sit in silence for just one minute, but every 15 seconds or so, someone decided to talk. In the end after many failed attempts, we were able to sit in silence for a good two minutes, just in quiet contemplation. It was a really special moment up there.
Since it was so hot outside today, we each enjoyed a cold coke before embarking on the three hour bus ride back to Kigali. We ensured ourselves good seats by waiting an extra hour in town, so we roasted even more in the sun, but it was worth the wait. The ride was of course just as beautiful on the way back, and we enjoyed interacting with some interesting characters on the bus, including some adorable babies sitting around us. At least, we thought they were adorable until the one sitting on his mother's lap next to Jamie started throwing up. Some of it hit Jamie's leg and seat, so we ended up sharing my seat for the last hour as his was pretty gross.
Overall, it was an incredible weekend, and I am excited to share some of our adventures with the students in class tomorrow! I'm so glad we were able to get away and sight-see; we really got to experience the beauty of Rwanda's countryside, and the marvel that it is! :)