Africa Day 7: Off to Rwanda

Posted in africa 2008, personal, photos, travel at 2:48 am by wingerz

[Here we go again – going to try to finish off the Africa blog entries before the end of the year. So far, we’re about halfway through the trip.]

Day 7: March 21, evening


Greeted by pouring rain at the airport. The Kigali airport looks quite modern, as does the city itself. There are a lot of new buildings, a lot funded by post-genocide foreign aid.

Scooters taxi people around – a common sight is two people with green helmets riding on a single scooter. On the corner outside our hotel several men in yellow vests sell phone cards, and they also hold phones that can be used to make international calls. Prices range from $1 minute down to $0.20/minute. Internet cafes are plentiful, but connectivity is not that great – one cafe was out of commission when we went to use it. The one we ended up using had a slow connection, and a man shut down all power to the monitors in the cafe without warning.

Service is not yet a strong suit of the Rwandans. Coffee took over 1/2 hour and we had to leave without being served because we didn’t want to be late to dinner. Dinner at an Italian restaurant took over 2 hours. Ellen’s laundry, promised to be done by 5pm, was not delivered within a half hour of the deadline so she stormed into the laundry room to find out what was going on.

This is now one of the safest cities in Africa, thanks to a very strong stance against petty crime (apparently police can and will shoot thieves). It definitely feels safer here than in other places like Dar and even Karatu, but we don’t stray far from the hotel.

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