Along the Road between Remera and Kicukuro

A few observations from Kigali, over the last several days.

Major roads around the Kigali area are in good shape and well traveled.  Cars, buses, vans, moto taxis and bikes move back and forth, much closer to one another than in the Portland area.  Pedestrians use the shoulder of the road on both sides if there are no sidewalks.  In the neighborhood where I am staying, the major roads have sidewalks.  There is a major intersection near the house, and it has a traffic light, but there are only a few of those here.  There are traffic circles at other major intersections, as well.

To get from Remera to Kicukuro, another neighborhood where I have gone several times, requires travel on dirt roads, cobble stone roads and paved roads.  The dirt roads have had some kind of road base applied, though, I would not say the roads are much improved over driving off-road on the side of a mountain.  Pedestrians and cars play an interesting game of who will stay in the way the longest.  People on foot don’t move out of the road quickly and drivers don’t seem to be too concerned about pedestrians.  As of yet, I’ve not seen an accident, which is actually quite amazing.

When I thanked my friend, Vianney for his hospitality by inviting me into the stadium, he replied, “Friendship starts with a little thing.” I thought, but yes, how often do we miss those little things?

When I was confronted by a youth of about 15 today, on a back street in Remera, he wanted to tell me about his love of the violin (which from his pantomime must have actually been a guitar).  He said he loved performing in front of people, and when he played music, everyone got up and danced.

Heri introduced me to his mother by telling her I was a friend of Hector Munn.  She smiled and told me to give Hector a big hug for her.

Heri took me on a walking tour of his neighborhood.  While showing me the large home of a wealthy man who lived just next to him, Heri said, “This man is very rich, but he does not speak to us, and so we do not speak to him.  We are becoming more like Americans.”

The preacher in the church service on Sunday asked the question, “Who will make the first step for forgiveness?’  A good question, and I would say appropriate in any cultural context.

I discovered why the road to the stadium was blocked off yesterday.  The Rwandan Patriotic Front, the major political party in Rwanda,  was having its annual convention at the stadium complex.  President Paul Kagame was elected as the head of the party.  Party delegates from all over the country gathered for these meetings, including President Kagame.

I spoke with Celestin earlier today and am now waiting his return call so that we may establish our meeting schedule for the rest of the week.  I prepared some documentation for his review and for the Vice Rector.

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