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Brenda’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 11 Sep 2011

Location: Kigali, Rwanda

MapSunday morning , September 11th, 2011

Greetings to you all from Kigali Rwanda! As I start my fifth trip to Rwanda/Tanzania Iíd just like to say a few words about what's being written in this travel blog now (and in the past.)

When I started this blog my first trip in 2006 it was intended to just be a way to connect with my family and a few close friends. Two things have happened since. The One Person Project was created and now there are hundreds of people reading the blog back home and also, with the evolution of social media, many of the people in Rwanda and Tanzania have also logged on. Some of what I write could offend someone when you have such a broad range of people reading. Sometimes, the humour being used to make light of an awkward situation might be taken the wrong way. The cultural differences can be a challenge at times and when I write about it Iím only trying to be descriptive enough for those of you back home to picture what weíre experiencing. So I would like to apologise now if anything Iíve written or will write offends anyone and remind you all that the stories are mine and include my views and opinions only; they are not those of The One person Project or my travelling companions. In addition, many of the places that we visit are places weíve been before and I will mention people who a lot of you already know. Since there are people logging on here for the first time, I will be describing things again for them, which Iíve talked about on other years.

Our team this year consists of only five. We are, Karen Judenhagen, (a cardio tech from Penticton Hospital,) Robin Rupp, (a third year med student from Germany,) Dr Glen Burgoyne, (a GP from Penticton,) his wife, Twyla Burgoyne (an RN) and myself. We are sad that our friend Mary-Jeanne couldnít join us this year as planned. I know there were others of you, Angela, Ryan, etc that would have liked to come also and I wish you were all here!

Robin arrived here in Kigali on Friday and Karen and I flew in last night. The four flights it took Karen and I to get here were long and then it seemed to take forever to get out of the Kigali Airport. Between, visas, luggage issues, etc we didnít arrive at the hostel until almost 10 pm. Unfortunately I arrived without my suitcase (again) and also, Robinís is still missing. They think mine might arrive on Tuesday so it looks like Iíll be washing my clothes out in the sink every night.

Iím sitting here writing this on my bed in St Famille after waking up to church bells this morning. St Famille is a large Catholic church situated in the heart of Kigali. During the genocide many people sought refuge in this church but did not find the safety they were hoping for and approximately 100,000 perished here over the next three months. When I look around at the serene setting and see nuns strolling around, itís hard to imagine what took place here.