Rwanda 2004   


From 9 to 16 November 2004 we visited Lea in Rwanda, where she was working as a volunteer for UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. It was our first trip to Central Africa, and a most fascinating experience. The story can really only be told face to face... Nevertheless, here are some comments to the web site pictures.

First a general overview:

- After an eight hour flight there was this pleasant first impression: exotic smells even walking on the tarmac. It was wonderful to see Lea again in a strange land...

We spent the first day after arrival in Kigali, the capital, getting acquainted with Africa, the country and the people.

Rwanda has a sweet climate, nice stable 26/28 °C temperatures (on the equator, but 1.500 meters high), ideal for tourism if only there were peace in the region. We were struck by the colours and the landscapes: endless ranges of green hills, "le pays des mille collines" as the Rwandese call their country.

- Lea took us on two trips across the country (which is smaller than Belgium!):

. Two days via Ruhengeri to Gisenyi, on the northern end of beautiful Lake Kivu (across the Congolese city of Goma)

. Three days via Gitarama, Butare and Gikongoro to Cyangugu, on the southern end of Lake Kivu (across the Congolese city of Bukavu). There we visited a UNHCR transit centre.

- ... and the seventh day we rested at Lea's home in Kigali before returning to Belgium in the late afternoon.