Sunday, June 26, 2011

Getting Around

In Guyana, it was taxis, minibuses, planes and boats. In Rwanda, boats are few and far between, minibuses generally on the main roads, taxis far too expensive and planes only if you intend to fly out of the country. However, most of our journeys to schools go off the main road and into the countryside away from the main roads. Some of them are well maintained if not a little bumpy but many have seen better days from the ravages of the rainy season creating huge potholes and furrows that can go on for ages which are gouged into the ground and see the rain off when it comes with a vengeance. Added to this, Rwanda is not called “Mille Collins” (Land of a Thousand Hills” for nothing. No trip to a school is without its amazing views, long drops and rolling countryside with every square centimetre cultivated whether it’s banana, beans, tomatoes, maize and all the rest you can think of!

So, how do we get around? There are moto taxis everywhere. Every town has its group of licensed young lads on their machines waiting to take you wherever you want, whatever the terrain for a price. Most are beyond the local people who prefer the cheaper bicycle taxis but that would take an age and, being a little on the large size ourselves, would probably give the drivers a coronary with those steep inclines. Generally our rides can be from 10 minutes to up to an hour and, as we go to two schools a day, that can be hard on the nether regions! But the views are to die for and the welcome in the schools is well worth the effort.

We have two regular drivers who look after us and we look after them. They are always on time and, most of all, very safe. In fact, Mary wants hers to go faster – the speed merchant that she is. I’m happy with plodding along especially when you look at those 600ft drops that are just 12 inches away to the side of the road. But they don’t want us to fall off any more than we do, so we feel very safe.

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Hi, hope your enjoy reading about our adventures in Rwanda. We'd love to hear from you. Stephen and Mary