Thursday, July 8, 2010

Gorillas and Geckos. Week one in Kibungo.

Better late than never, right? So Aimey arrived and since then I’ve been playing tour guide and loving every moment of it. July 1st and the plane was to arrive at 7pm but, in true fashion, was late. Never mind, Aimey hopped off the plane with a bag full of a goodies, my sleeping bag and a bottle of wine that was not covered in dust. We arrived in Kibungo the next day and there was no rest for her because we had arranged a “Welcome to Kibungo / Happy Canada Day” party at Moderne. Those potatoes are amazing!!!! I’d been talking about the potatoes forever but for the first time in the history of Kibungo, they had no potatoes. None? What? But you have fries? How is this possible? Truth is – ANYTHING is possible in Kibungo. We enjoyed the Canada Day swag courtesy of the Lemphers up in the Yukon, my old stomping ground. We also enjoyed Beer and Clam (a delicacy I’ve been talking up since arriving and finally was able to share with J and J because it was included among the many treats in Aimey’s bag). The next day we had time to see the Kibungo market and head to St. Joe’s to watch Germany destroy Argentina in the quarterfinals. I must say that Aimey has slid into life here easily including being put work as soon as she got here and having the shit scared out of her by Johnny Boy (my guard). Our mishaps are limited to the following:

Aimey: “I want to touch the baby gecko.”

Me: “I don’t think it’s a good idea”

Aimey: touches it anyway. It jumps on her sweater, startles us, we yelp, Aimey trips back, falls on bed, bed breaks. (At this exact moment while I update the blog, Aimey is happily nailing the bed back together with nails I had and a hammer borrowed from the moto garage next door)

Sunday we headed up through Kigali to Ruhengeri to trek for Gorillas which is a “must do” when you’re here and something I’ve been waiting for since I arrived. It was nothing short of amazing, made even better when a baby gorilla approached Aimey, looked in her eyes, reached out and touched her. I can’t speak for what Aimey experience but I was shaking with amazement that it’s a wonder I got any pictures at all. The gorillas were worth it but I have to express a bit of disappointment in the number of tourist who come to Rwanda and only experience this.

Fresh off the trek (we were a bit disappointed in that our hike was short and, while it was nice to see the gorillas quickly, we got in less of a trek than we wanted) we headed to Gisenyi to spend a night in paradise – Paradise Malahide, to be exact. A dinner of chicken and Primus around a fire near Lake Kivu was perfect. Things were going so well until I broke the flip flops I bought at the market when I first arrived in Rwanda. I guess it’s a sign that my time is coming to a close here. The next morning we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast on the lake as we watch the fishing boats come in from the night out. We hitched a ride with some engineers working on a pilot methane project on Lake Kivu. Of course, hitch-hiked implies we intended to catch a lift with someone but it was actually me mistaking a work van for local transport and simply telling him where we were going. So the free lift into town with some lovely guys who talked to us all about trapped methane in Lake Kivu and Rwanda’s plans to continue its extraction to add to the national grid.

We arrived back to Kibungo and haven’t rested since…but that’s another blog entry full of motorcycle rides through the dirt, delivering books to the libraries, score keeping for a volleyball game using only rocks and the ground, going to a butcher in the middle of freakin’ nowhere so Patrick could buy meat, finding NEW flip flops at the market, jiggers (okay, I’ll leave that one out) and a few other adventures that haven’t happened yet but I’m sure will before I get around to updating the photos once again.


  1. I'm sure you can't believe you will be finished soon. Love reading all the adventures

  2. Hi Anna,

    My name is Martin and I am writing to you on behalf of a website that I am currently involved in starting up. We aim to provide prospect volunteers with all the information they need in order to feel confident in their choice of organisation, position and destination, as well as inspire people to make the jump and try out volunteering.

    As a part of that, I was wondering whether you might be interested in answering a few questions and perhaps sharing any advice you may have for people who are considering to volunteer.

    If you think you might have time to do this, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me through, and you can view the website I’m representing at

    Thanks, and keep up your amazing work!

    Martin Jonsson