Friday, May 30, 2014

Rwanda's Natural History & A Day in Kigali

Hi all! So today was amazing. We got up and had an amazing breakfast. Bread, eggs, coffee, and the freshest tropical fruits you could ever taste. After breakfast we got around and headed to the Rwanda Natural History Museum. The museum is comprised of a few rooms of an old house. It had a section on evolution in Rwanda, Sections on the different national parks, a section on the volcanoes, a section on the rocks and minerals, a section on the history in Rwanda, an outside area with lots of indigenous snakes, many poisonous, that you could see in boxes. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take pictures of any of the things inside, or in the outside snake area. In the back of the property was a little wall and an amazing view of Kigali. You could hear the people talking in a blurred mumble and at one point we heard a Muslim call to prayer ringing out from a distant hilltop. We were able to take some pictures in this area. There was even an avocado tree next to a bunch of banana trees, it is a little mind boggling!

After the museum we drove to a nice buffet to get lunch. We had a variety of local foods like fried plantains, rice, spiced beef, and I even ate goat! And of course more of the awesome fruits like the "tree tomato" which is the greatest fruit I've ever tasted and can't describe. After lunch we went across the street to the Hotel des Mille Collines, which you may remember from the movie Hotel Rwanda. At this hotel the manager took in about 1,200 Rwandan refugees who were fleeing from the genocide and almost certain death. We got to go inside and see the lobby and the pool that served as the only source of drinking water when the military cut off the water to the hotel. It was amazing to see the place I've read so much about, and a place that one man was able to save so many.

After that we spent hours walking around Kigali, going into shops, seeing the non-tourist areas, and talking with some of the locals. It was great getting to see the city. It is very different to see all of the people on the street look at you as you walk by. It is a total reverse of what it is like to be an American, and I kind of like it. I think it provides you with a different perspective. After a very long walk we went to get dinner and then back to our rooms. Tomorrow will be full of all sorts of stuff and I can't wait to tell you all about it. Below are a couple of pictures I thought you might enjoy. Currently I can't upload to facebook all of my pictures, but hopefully soon.

Welcome to Rwanda Bilboard

Signs are all over Kigali for the 20 year anniversary of the Genocide. Many events have, and will, take place to remember those lost in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide

Natural Museum Sign

Stacked a mile high they are off to deliver some mattresses! Downtown Kigali marketplace.

Sitting outside the Natural History museum overlooking Kigali.

Sign at the gate of the Hotel Des Mille Collines. 

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