Monday, September 19, 2011

Final Leg

View from our window at Chez Lando
So, after we rushed home for family reasons, we find ourselves back in Rwanda. We now realise how important it is that we complete our placements and do as much as we can in the short time we have left.
There are also places we need to go to and see but who knows whether we will get the chance. Because we were going to be working so hard, we decided to treat ourselves at the weekends. One such treat was a stay in Chez Lando Hotel. It's close to the VSO office in Kigali and they were doing a special deal on their rooms. It's a modern place and we had a great weekend. The room we stayed in was an upgrade and was bigger than the whole of our house in Rwamagana.
Presidential Palace Museum
Whilst we were there we were there, we went to the Presidential Palace near the airport. This is a significant place because it was the home of the President of Rwanda at the start of the Genocide 18 years ago - President Juvenal Habiyarimana. His private plane was shot down on 6th April 1994 and it fell in the Palace and can still be seen in the same position were it fell to this day. The President of Burundi was also on board.
The Museum has an interesting section on the culture and history of Rwanda and particularly about the importance of hairstyles throughout the ages. It has not been renovated or preserved and still has the same furniture which, because of lack of restoration, is literally falling apart. At the top of the building are two chapels - one for the official religion where Catholic Masses where said and the other for the traditional religion. The presidents obviously had a foot in both camps but "never the twain shall meet". The Pope said Mass in the chapel on his official visit to Rwanda. Who knows what was going on next door?
If you want to read more about the Genocide, follow some of these links. It is up to you to decide what is true and not true.


On our return, we were still tempted by the possible move to the new District Office but it never happened. It was almost finished but who knows when we will actually move in.
New District Office almost completed
But, let's face it, the back of a container truck as an office is more of a novelty, a challenge, a talking point and the REAL VSO.

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