That’s ‘Hello’in Kinyarwanda, the language spoken where I’m posting from. Right now my stomach is stuffed with dinner and I’m sitting at the table nursing a cup of hot milk and ginger. I’m stuffed, but the Nyungwe cold won’t let me give up what’s left in my flask. It’s my 6th night here, and having spent not more than two nights in one place, I really do owe the world a trip report. Haha!
To begin with, the choice of Rwanda was totally by chance. I randomly decided on a trip days before my birthday in August after seeing an ad on Instagram which didn’t happen but I realized it was a destination to keep an eye on. When the travel bug bit a few months later and I was looking for somewhere with affordable tickets and no visa troubles for GreenPassporters, it was an easy choice. Plane ticket and yellow fever card in hand, I was on a plane to Kigali last Sunday!
My first introduction to the Rwandan spirit was at the point of entry. Visas are issued to Nigerians on arrival for $30. When I handed the official a $100 bill however, I got back $20 change. He was pretty sure I had paid him $50. After I walked off when processing was done, he hurried after me asking that I come back so we confirm the correct amount. Back at his post, he went through his drawer and computer, and reiterated that he was right. I did not have a $50 bill so I knew for sure he wasn’t as I couldn’t have paid him that, but it was my word against his and I was certain it was an honest mistake so I let it go. By Monday morning, my host whose details I had provided at entry, had received an unholy number of missed calls. The Immigration officer checked yet again and realizing his mistake, called so I could return to the airport and get my money. I am still impressed.
On Monday, got properly acquainted with the most wonderful AirBnB hosts, who helped create an itinerary for the trip. Going back a little, the plan at first was to sign up for a tour with an agency, but decided to land here and go with the flow. Best plan! This has turned out much cheaper and the flexibility is priceless. On Monday, the day was spent in Kigali getting information and supplies for the road trips to follow, and partying at the Kigali Convention Centre, counting down to the New Year, screaming along to Simi, Bruce Melody and well, Patoranking who seemed like an even bigger star in Rwanda than back home. The music DJ Waxxy, DJ Miller and the third impeccably dressed super skilled DJ whose name I don’t remember played at the concert was so Nigerian that I could have been in Lagos. It was a blast! Back home sometime around 3:30 am on Jan 1st, day one was over.
I really should talk about the clean Rwandan streets, impeccably dressed, helpful, well- mannered people and the chilled vibe, but it’s 9:23 pm right now, I’ve left the dinner table for my bed and I’m stuffed and sleepy so I’d just go to bed now. Tomorrow I’m scheduled to climb the canopy walkway above the Nyungwe rain forest which has been described as the road to hell. Let me just rest in preparation for facing it tomorrow. Stay with me 🙂