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Brenda’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 05 Feb 2008

Location: Kigali, Rwanda

MapChapter Two of “Brenda’s African Adventures.” Well, actually I guess its Wendy, MJ AND Brenda’s Adventure.

Hi everyone, I've tried to get on here to post my entries but up until now the website was unavailable. It seems to be working now so hopefully it will continue to stay online.....

After an uneventful flight from Vancouver to London we experienced one of the roughest landings that I’ve ever had. For some reason this left me feeling pretty under the weather for hours and was only remedied by an unpleasant encounter with some porcelain (and I’m not talking about a tea cup!). Luckily, I recovered enough to enjoy some good food and have a few beers in a quaint English pub. MJ had a good laugh over some of the menu items and decided against ordering the “Spotted Dick.” Later in the evening we went out to Eaton and saw the school that William and Harry attended and also Windsor Castle. I never imagined that the castle was so big; it’s really quite amazing to see.
We headed for Heathrow the following afternoon and spent another few exciting, fun-packed hours at an airport before boarding what turned out to be a very empty flight into Nairobi. We were told by Virgin Atlantic that they are one of the few airlines still flying into Kenya. We did see a few other planes on the tarmac and felt especially safe when we saw a UN plane and then the soldiers that were to board it, wandering around the airport.
Not long after we landed, we found out that our tickets to Kigali had been cancelled…long story. A few hours later this problem was eventually sorted out with the aid of no less than five different “helpful” airport employees. All together, we were lucky enough to spend nine hot, overdressed hours wandering around this airport trying to sleep on benches and chairs. We were very happy to board the plane this evening for the last short leg of our journey to Kigali.
With the help of some letters with the “One Person” letterhead and some good negotiating we’ve managed to transport our 470 + lbs of luggage (school & medical supplies and sports equipment) all the way to Kigali from the Okanagan without paying anything extra. We figure that we saved over $600 in excess baggage charges without even counting what they would’ve charged us in Nairobi with the 50lb/person maximum. After donning World Vision shirts for added assurance, we headed out of the Kigali airport without a problem from customs. One of our overloaded suitcases took this opportunity to split open; we were very thankful that it didn’t happen en route!
We waited outside for Franklin, our friend from World Vision, who was to meet us at the airport. Of course it started to rain even though all of the books say the rainy season doesn’t start until April. We decided to take a cab, well two, one for our luggage and one for us, to our hotel. Poor Franklin had broke all kinds of speeding laws to arrive at the airport on time and had just missed us. We were happy to see him and our new friend/guide Claude at our hotel a short time after we arrived. We managed to stay awake while we had a bite to eat with the two of them before attempting to head to bed.
I surprised to hear my phone ring and to find we had another World Vision worker in our hotel lobby. He had thought he was picking us up and had been waiting at the airport for the past several hours .We hadn’t arranged this so don’t know how this happened. It’s nice to know we are being looked after here!!!!
I’ve had about 8 hours sleep since sat morning so am signing off on this, our first night in Rwanda.
Usiko mwema na lala salama,
(I think that means good night and sweet dreams or maybe it’s something really offensive…I don’t know)