Saturday we woke up at a wonderful 4 am to head out at 5 am to go to Akagera National Park for a safari! We saw many animals: birds, warthogs, zebras, monkeys, hippos, giraffes, crocodiles, and other such animals. We unfortunately did not see any elephants, hyenas or lions. Oh well, just means I will have to go back!
Sunday we went to the Rwanda vs. Algeria futball game! It was a lot of fun, even though I am not a huge fan of soccer. The president of Rwanda was even at the game! Everyone stood when he entered. Another interesting even that occurred was that we learned not many people of Rwanda know their national anthem. It was adopted sometimes around 2002, so I suppose not many people have learned it. We are learning it in our Kinyarwanda class—it is very hard to sing. I also learned that Rwanda booted a lot of their experienced soccer players to replace them with much younger ones, to give the youth of Rwanda a chance. I think this is so great for the country, even if Rwanda doesn’t win every game. All of the players are from Rwanda and about 20-25 years old, so a lot more nationalism is felt.
Monday I found out where my hospital assignment is for the second month. Astride and I will be traveling to the Southern Province of Rwanda to a town called Butare. This is actually the college town of Rwanda and the second biggest city next to Kigali. We are not sure yet if we are going to have a home stay or be staying in a home provided by the hospital. So suspenseful!
Yesterday a woman we had previously met took me and a few girls to get fabric and then to a tailor to get fitted for skirts or dresses. I am glad she took us because otherwise we would have been given the “Muzungu price.” But I only paid 15,000 FRW for the material and to have a skirt made by next Tuesday! That’s only about $25 and I will have material left over to do fun things with!
Also yesterday, we have an addition to the home! Christine’s oldest son got sent home from his boarding secondary school for a week as punishment for eating food he wasn’t supposed to. It was quite hysterical at the time. We had no idea—he just showed up!
Only 1 more week left in Kigali—we depart next Thursday morning!! I am getting very excited to be on our own and get to explore the country and the city of Butare, but also hoping the time doesn’t go too fast since I won’t see many of my team members again until the end of next month. We are scattered all around the country and I think Astride and I are the furthest from the groups.
Love and miss everyone!
Some of the better pictures from Akagera. Amazing to see how much room animals have in the wild. Makes me sad that they don’t have that much room in zoos, but “Life of Pi” reassured me that animals in zoos are just as happy as in the wild because they don’t have to worry about predators or going hungry.