Getting to know Kigali

After a long but pleasant flight, we arrived in Rwanda yesterday. We were greeted by Helen, Chris, and Phocas who drove us to Civitas Hotel, our home away from home in Rwanda.

I arrived to a view of little twinkling lights of houses against the night sky, and awoke to roosters crowing and a breathtaking view of the hills and valleys of Kigali from my window. The Civitas Hotel made us a beautiful breakfast, and we spent the morning resting, walking around and taking it all in.

In the afternoon, we were treated to a tour of the city by our hosts Leon and Jean. We drove past embassies, the beautiful gardens surrounding the home of President Kagame, the stadium, and many other highlights of downtown Kigali. We later had the privilege of visiting the Belgian soldier memorial, a somber, thoughtful and moving reminder of the atrocities of the Rwandan Genocide.

We concluded our tour with a stop at a local market, where we practiced our bargaining skills. After some epic shopping for our loved ones (and ourselves), we drove back to relax and have a bite for dinner. As I write this, we are gathered around a communal table while Helen and Chris fill us in on the plan for the week. We are ready to clean the red Rwandan dust off our shoes for the day, and sleep off a little more of our jet lag, before we rise bright and early tomorrow to meet the lovely students who we will be working with for the next two weeks.

Colleen

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