The Third and Final Week With the Parents
Tuesday we were off to Akagera National Park...in the east of the country in the flatter Safari planes...we were collected in a Jeep at 5.30am and drove 2 hours to the park...at the park entrance we collected a guide who gave some background on the park...before we got back in the car and headed off on Safari...I was a little worried that I would not find it very interesting as I had already been before...but on the Sunday night there had been a big fire in park...the winds had been strong and had fuelled the fire as it scorched and burnt its way across the park...the animals were safe and unharmed...while the grasses and trees were either burnt to nothing or scorched and still burning...it was eerie and beautiful...a stunning and somewhat unusual backdrop for giraffe, impala and zebra...there were birds a plenty...including a lilac breasted roller...water buffalo...hippo...and many more animals...dad and Jane enjoyed it, even if the elephants were hiding...the guides were very knowledgeable and helpful...there was a small problem with horseflies...they were everywhere and very vicious...many stings later I think they were satisfied...but they really are horrid creatures!!! 13 hours later we made it back to the hotel...it was dark and we were all tired but very happy! Wednesday we headed off in different directions again...I was heading back to Gisagara...Jane was off to Kibuye while dad was going back to Musanze to climb Bisoke on the Thursday...he was then going to meet Jane in Kibuye for a few days of tranquillity...I was back in Kigali for the weekend...Sonya and Paula were having a party at their new house on the Friday night and I was having dinner with Amy and Nic on the Saturday night...with dad and Jane returning on Monday...they were due to fly out on Tuesday evening...thankfully there were no volcanoes or any other natural disasters to keep them here longer...having said that...I did really have a wonderful time with them! But it was time for them to go...Monday night we went for cocktails at Des Milles Collines...or Hotel Rwanda as it is better known...and then a final meal together at Heaven...Tuesday I went into town with Dad for a little bit of last minute shopping...back at the hotel we looked at all the photos for the holiday...and played a last game of cards before heading off to the airport...we said our goodbyes and they were heading off through the gates and were homeward bound...I got a moto back into town where I met Amy for drink...I was staying at St Paul’s for the night as there was a Global Schools Partnership workshop there on the Wednesday...I was finally home on Thursday...Amy came on Thursday night...and by Friday I was back to reality...I had a quiet weekend on my own...and was back to visiting schools on Monday...it feels like a lifetime since I have been at work...I was in and out of the office...finally managed to sort out the internet on my computer...and managed to put my motorcycle helmet on back to front with a rather But Wednesday saw me leaving Gisagara again...this time I was heading off for Nyamasheke...again for a GSP workshop...but being all the way through the forest we had to allow a day to travel there...the workshop was on the Thursday and then travel back on the Friday...The workshop went well and we were on the road by 8.30am...however the journey was not as smooth as I would have hoped...9 hours later we finally made it back to Kigali and I was in no mood for the planned evening of events...so it was a quiet evening at Vanessa’s house...she was away but I was staying there for the weekend...Saturday we had a planning meeting as the new volunteers had arrived and I was joining a few others in taking one of the sessions...it wasn’t long before it was all finished and I was heading back to the house...in the evening I was meeting with a Melanie and Moses’ and lots of other VSOs and some of Moses’ friends to celebrate his birthday...we had dinner and drinks followed by dancing at Alpha Palace...Sunday was a day of recovery before meeting with Vanessa for a beer off the bus...we had a lazy and quiet evening catching up before we both headed off for an early night...Monday I moved up to the Amani Guest House where the new volunteers were staying...for some reason the VSO staff responsible for putting together the induction timetable thought it would be a good idea to entrust the session on health and safety to Melanie and myself...maybe not their brightest move...The session actually went well considering neither of us really knows how to put together a water filter or light a kerosene lamp...but we managed to fumble through...we spent the evening in the bar getting to know the new comers...I took a group into Kigali to get Modems and have a look around...and did a session with a few other volunteers about the specific work we do...Wednesday evening we headed to the bar again, only this time even though I prepared myself as well as possible...I was still caught short...and a trip to the toilet in that bar is not good for the health of anyone...initially I thought I would be able to manage on my own...I mean how bad could it really be...the answer is...REALLY BAD...I wasn’t able to make it on my own...the room was dark...with no lights...a banging door and more cockroaches than I wanted to bother counting crawling up all the walls...I needed moral support and someone to keep the door open and the boys out...I found my support in Julia...I was squealing like a banshee while Julia, one of the new volunteers held the toile door open with her hand and the main door, so that the boys couldn’t come in, with her foot...only while I was peeing...making sure that I was aiming straight...some other bugger, who had been in their before me had not done the same and had left quite a puddle on the floor...needless to say there was more squealing when I realised that I had not my own...but someone else’s pee in my shoes!!!! My foot had been subjected to a splattering and a splash of some body else’s urine...no amount of saying it...squealing it...or just going on about it really made the feeling any better...or made the pee clean itself off and leave my foot alone...it was there to stay until the shower when I got home!!! Thursday I headed back to Gisagara for a little down time, but I was back in the big city by Saturday afternoon...Saturday evening was the family dinner with all new and old volunteers getting together...there was dinner, drinks and dancing...followed by more drinks and more dancing...Sunday I was up early and heading back to Gisagara at a reasonable hour...why I bothered I will never know...about half way through the journey it started to rain...and it didn’t stop...the bus stopped at the sotra office as usual...and wouldn’t go round to the market where the bus to Gisagara goes from...so I made my way in the rain stopping on the way at Matar for a few bits and pieces...I was a little damp by the time I got there but it was nothing compared to the wet I was going to be when I finally made it round to the bus office...I wanted to get the 2pm bus so started the very wet walk round at 1.30pm...only when I got there...wet as I was...there was no 2pm bus and I was going to have to wait until 3pm...I was cold, wet and very cross indeed...and nearly two hours sat in the cold in wet clothes was not doing my temper any good at all!!!