Sunday, January 17, 2010

Life in Kigali

We are getting used to things here. Its not much different from many Caribbean islands I have paid to go on vacation to. The accomodation is perhaps at the low end of the range of holiday cottages you might rent in Europe. There are a few kids hassling for money, a lot of people trying to sell newspapers, but nothing too bad.
The climate is quite pleasant. Today is a bit hot, but if you keep to the shaded side of the street its OK. Most days are bright and partly sunny, with rain one night. So far, few mosquitoes, even at dusk. We have mosquito coils in the apartment but have never used them. I put up the mosquito net over my bed every night but don't think I really need it.
We met a couple of women who run an orphanage just outside Kigali in the Bourbon Cafe today. Its the Kigali version of Starbucks, with wireless internet for those who are eating, burgers and a usual western bar menu. I had a vegetable panini and a cafe au lait for $8 US. They gave us useful tips, like how to text message the local cinema to find out what is playing. Some things work well, others seem complicated. Saturday night we heard a British soccer match commentary coming from a local sports bar, so we watched an Everton v Man United match projected on white wall, maybe 12 feet across. Greg went to the bar to order two beers. This took 15 minutes to figure out, in a place which was basically a sports bar. How hard can it be to figure out that when two guys enter a bar they probably want a cold beer? The staff were actually very friendly and seemed to be trying to be helpful but something seemed to confuse them. One problem is you never know what language people are trying to speak. The waitress came to me and said "Verre?". Only after she left did I realise that she was asking me in french if I wanted a glass for my beer.

We think its a big deal coming here for four weeks. We met three women who were here with VSO living in a village for a year with no running water or electricity. One of the two women rom the orphanage has signed on for two years, with her husband and three year old.

I have lots of great photos already, so as this is the best Internet connection I have found so far I will try to post some.

1 comment:

  1. great stories and commentary- keep it up.