Birthday Fundraiser

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tour of Kigali

Now it’s time to travel to Kigali. We’ll take this Kigali Bus Service (KBS) bus. These buses very recently arrived here, I believe from China. I don’t know this for a fact, but there are sometimes Chinese movies playing on the bus (entertaining no one expect an occasional Chinese tourist, I suppose). And I’ve never been to China but this bus kind of represents how I picture China in my head. I don’t personally like these buses because they are actually city buses – like MTA or TCAT style. To me, this sort of bus doesn’t make sense for 2+ hour trips. But apart from me, other people think they’re really new-fangled and cool. And when they’re not playing Chinese movies, they play music videos which I appreciate very much.

Perhaps you noticed in the picture the men selling drinks and snacks. If you didn’t, look now. This is a very convenient way to purchase your trip snacks. In other countries like Uganda and Burundi they usually have things like chapatti and corn and brochettes (meat), but street food is outlawed in Rwanda, so they stick to packaged cookies and biscuits.

Well enough of that introduction to the bus. Here comes the journey. First we need to get out of the bus park. We’ll pass by these motorbike (moto) drivers on the way out.

I’ll skip the pictures of the road because I have a lot of Kigali pictures ahead. 

2 hours later, we’ve arrived at the bus park in Kigali: 

And now we will hop on one of those motos and go to town. This is like the “city center”:

In the background of that picture, you see the slogan of the 18th commemoration of genocide, “Learning from our history to build a bright future,” in Kinyarwanda and English. Below is Hotel des Mille Collines, made famous by Hollywood:

Nakumatt is a big Kenyan supermarket located in two locations in Kigali:

Across the street, the Church de Sainte Famille. I went here on Palm Sunday. It's possible to learn some history through Google. 

Now we’re going to go to a place called Kacyiru which has two interesting attractions: the American Embassy and…. drumroll…. a really beautiful, brand new, very modern public library. To me, it’s exciting because I happen to love libraries and I think it should be a requirement for all cities. If you went to Cornell, it reminds me of Mann. So here it is:

And right across the street is the American Embassy (not the highest quality picture but I like how the flag looks):

And here is a bit more of the Kacyiru area:

King Faisal Hospital, opened years ago with the support of the Saudi government. A good place to access medical care: 

Here are some pictures showing the residential landscape. The first is my friend Ian in front of his house (in the distance):

You must have noticed the cleanliness and general beauty of Kigali. Here’s why (garbage cans):

So there you have it. The tour of Kigali. It is not complete. There is far more to see, but I don’t want to bore you. (And as I mentioned in the last post, taking pictures can be rough, at least for me…).

If you want a longer tour, my arms are open for welcoming visitors (wink, wink)!

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