Goodbye Rwanda

Moto’s with passangers

I must admit facing Rwanda’s past hit me hard. I remember when Sofie and I visited the killing fields in Phnom Penh in Cambodia years ago, the sadness stayed with us for days. I have felt the same this week, the sadness has stayed with me.

Maybe it has cast a shadow on my visit because Rwanda is a nice and friendly place. The capitol Kigali is very different from the chaotic streets of Kampala in Uganda. There is less traffic and the main streets are lined with trees and grass. The buses are bigger and more modern. The boda boda’s are here but are called moto’s – as a passenger it is mandatory to wear a helmet and they respect the traffic lights (in contradiction to Kampala).

Rwanda is called the land of 1.000 hills, which is true – no matter in which direction you look you’ll see green hills. Which also means you walk up and down, up and down, up and down all the time. It was only when visiting the Akegara National Park that I saw flat land.

It’s a beautiful country and they are trying had to improve and change not forgetting their past in the process. Good improvements have been made and foreign investments have returned. Tourists have also discovered the country with its diverse experiences.

But – and there is a but – I have not gotten a decent cup of coffee since I arrived in East Africa. Either it is instant coffee, and you mix it yourself, or it is the weakest coffee you would ever taste – it looks like tea. I mean the grow the stuff and export it all over the world, but they have no idea how to make good coffee. So, I switched to African tea, which is basically milk boiled with tea – much the same as chai.

And on the positive side I’ve gotten good at using moto’s – without fearing for my life and clinging to much on to the driver.

Tomorrow I will fly to Nairobi in Kenya.

Some facts (I include Uganda since I forgot it in my earlier post about leaving Uganda):

Rwanda (Uganda – Denmark)

  • Population: 12.6 mio. (45 mio.  – 5.8 mio.)
  • Area: 26.000 km2 (241.000 km2 – 43.000 km2)
  • Density: 475/km2 (183/km2 – 133/km2)
  • Life expectancy: 68 years (58 years – 80 years)
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