Rwanda Travel Stories, Page 2

Imagine Africa Ruled by Children

Imagine Africa Ruled by Children
5:31 in the morning, the business next door has turned on the music at full volume, I say to myself,

Imagine a school full of teenage children where all the teachers left, and,
“Welcome to Africa.”

The Majority of Africa Colonization ended in the 1960’s and in my opinion there is a vacuum. The tribal chief system of cultural management was disrupted by colonization, when the colonizers left there was no clear cultural norms in takes its place.

Gitarama, Rwanda
East Africa
Monday, May 25, 2009


Heating Water in my Room in Gitarama, Rwanda to bath.

I am in the Amatana Center Hotel in Gitamara, Rwanda, truly a nice Hotel for 5000 Francs, however as normal in Africa it feels like I need to tell them,
“Please turn on the Hot Water heater.”

They will turn on the Hot Water, however, I would again need to tell them tomorrow and the next day and I cannot spank them.

I have been traveling in East Africa at an altitude of 1300-2000 meters above see the majority of the time here in East Africa. It is not hot, it cool to cold and in the morning without a hot shower anyone would want to avoid bathing.

I have been thinking, I have a bucket, I have a hot water heater, I just heat the water as part of my normal day as a traveler, what do the other tourist do?

Living in Hotels is normally like putting together a puzzle without all the pieces. I am lucky; I have a lot of spare pieces in my backpack to make up for the ones taken by the children.

Imagine Africa Ruled by Children

Travel to Gitarama Rwanda

Travel to Gitarama Rwanda
I will travel from Byumba, Rwanda to Gitarama today, I would like to stay longer, however the locals do not feel safe, moreover the lock on my Auberge door is broken.

This village is probably good for a day or two; then best to leave. When one lives at street level with the locals, people can see you and become envious. If a person stays in a NGO Grade Hotel, they normally are separated and remain isolated from the normal culture of a country.

It is a tradeoff, if you want to understand the culture of country, you need to live and travel with them to experience their culture. It also allows the locals complete access to my culture and lifestyle which sometimes makes me the target of crime. It takes about three days before a local culture gets organized and can act on their envy.

I paid a lot of money to come to Africa; I am here to learn the culture of Africa.

Byumba, Rwanda
East Africa
Sunday, May 24, 2009


I hope this does not take too long, the roads in Rwanda are supposed to be good. I will take a van to Kigali the capital of Rwanda for 800 Francs then transfer probably to another van to go to Gitarama, Rwanda.

On a cynical note, I need to be careful or the Lonely Planet Guidebook will be of no value in Rwanda. Byumba is not in the Lonely Planet and neither is Gitarama.

Top View Hotel
Centre d'Accueil Rukumo

This is what I would call a NGO Grade Hotel, the place where all the Non Governmental Organizations or ONG in French go to stay.

I try to not stay in this type of Hotel if possible; I feel a person is known the friends or people they associate with. Hehehe… Pretty much this means any tourist in Rwanda.

Travel to Gitarama Rwanda

Vegetable Oil For Sale in Rwanda

Vegetable Oil For Sale in Rwanda
I walked into a store here in Byumba, Rwanda and purchased a liter of water. When I looked over at the shelf I see in typical African style a king size container of vegetable oil for sale.

Byumba, Rwanda
East Africa
Sunday, May 24, 2009


This can of Vegetable Oil cost 3000 Rwanda Francs or about 5-6 US Dollars.

The brand name of the Vegetable Oil appears to be USAID.

When the USA makes an agreement to give Millions or Billions of dollars to countries, USAAID will arrange with Non Governmental Organizations like World Vision to distribute the money.

Vegetable Oil For Sale in Rwanda

2009 May 23 Enter Rwanda leave Uganda

2009 May 23 Enter Rwanda Leave Uganda
I traveled from Kabale, Uganda to Byumba, Rwanda today. The Visa to enter Rwanda was free, however, they only gave me 15 days, this means I am already heading towards the country of Burundi, almost giving Rwanda a pass.
Byumba, Rwanda
East Africa
Saturday, May 23, 2009


This is where I think I am located, it is hard to say, the locals do not speak French or English well and no sign says Byumba.

I have had an interesting couple of days, last night a man by the name of Rory from Ireland came to the Hotel in Uganda, somehow he traveled from Tanzania to Kabale in one day, and is supposed to enter Rwanda today, truly at a madhouse travel speed.

If you read about Rwanda, try to figure out the prices of Hotels, talk with people, they all say, Rwanda is expensive. Rory had a paper where a friend of his wrote down some Hotel, he was paying from 30 to 50 dollars per night. Therefore, I am little worried about prices of room, I do not enjoy paying more than 10 dollars per night, just seems like a waste or money.

I took a 3000 Shilling car from Kabale, Uganda to Katuna, Uganda, the border city, discovered there is not really a city to speak of, and decided to enter Rwanda. USA citizens enter for free, however the border is complete chaos, there was a huge line of people on the Uganda, side, and of course in typical African style, they were all cutting line. I finally had enough and just walked to the front and pushed everyone out of the way. The man behind the glass said,
“Why don’t you wait in line?”
I said,
“All these people cut in front of me.”
I knew the attitude, we are supposed to obey rule, even though there are no rules.

I then walked down a long road full of semi trucks to the Rwanda side; there three Indian men getting a one day transit visa to go to the DRC Congo, so there was no line. Well, two people tried to cut in again and I pushed them out of the way also. Africa people are not as aggressive as me, there needs to be three or four of them before they get up a good aggressive note.

The Rwanda man working behind the counter says,
“Thanks for your patience.”
Hmm, this is a good sign.

I am trying to find a Hotel; I did not find one in the village of Katuna, Uganda, so now I am in the village of Gatuna, Rwanda. I keep walking; I keep thinking I will find something. I pass a couple of drinking boom boom type Hotels or they like to call them Lodges. I end up walking about two kilometer, I pass a van loading to go to Kigali, however it is empty and I want a room, I am tired of the smell of people.

I just keep walking, two kilometers later and nothing that looks like lodging of any sort, and the locals are all staring at me, however no Hellos, Fines or Bonjours, just looking and a few Musungos. (White man in the local languages.)

The van I walked by stops and picks me up, I say Kigali and he say deux mille or 2000 Rwanda money, this is just under four dollars so I am game, I will go. They put me in front in typical white-men-deserve-the-best-seat manner. A man decides to practice his English with me, he starts to tell me the Hotels in different cities, and I ask him,
“How much do they cost?”
He says,
“From 50,000-100,000.”

This is about 100-200 US dollars.
I asked,
“Why so expensive,”
(This man and Rory’s friend are on the same page.)

More or less he explains that it is a poor country and nobody has any money, and Uganda is a rich country. I understand the logic, but truly think it is ass backwards.

Rich country of Uganda and they have cheap rooms.
Poor country of Rwanda and the rooms are expensive.

Screw that, I am now in a room in Byumba for 2000 mille or about four US dollars; I bypassed all the cultural crap and got a room. Not much of room, however it has a mattress and the lady Yvonne is nice enough, she runs a pharmacy and has rooms in the rear here in Byumba.

This is the view from the small village of Byumba; I only had to walk about 50 meters to take this photo. The village is perched on a ridge and on both sides are wide valleys.

I thought the hoe farming was spectacular in Uganda between the city of Kabale and Kisoro. Well, from the Uganda - Rwanda border all the way to Byumba is beautiful farming done in a terrace style, this is better. The one large cash crop is Tea, however about 60 percent of this area has food crops. As normal, I am in one of the most beautiful areas of Uganda or Rwanda, with farming being done on a mass scale and what did I find at the border. The World Food Program.

My first impression of the country is beautiful terraced farming for as far as I can see, green, green and more green.

Every person I have met had doubled the price.
Van wanted 2000 mille, I paid 500
Room wanted 5000, I paid 2000
Water - they asked 1000 and I paid 500

I start to point a camera at anything and people start saying,

2009 May 23 Enter Rwanda Leave Uganda