First impressions

First impressions
March 29, 2013 Dave Fullerton

WELL IT’S GOOD FRIDAY and we’ve just finished breakfast.

It’s pretty packed at the Good News Guesthouse this morning. There’s a team of medical volunteers on their way back to Alabama after several weeks in a hospital in south-west Rwanda, another group of Americans who spent yesterday tracking the gorilla in the north, and a couple of Germans just passing through.

The laptop is fired up for another go at getting online, but it’s a very hit-and-miss affair. Plenty of waiting time to notice the beautiful varnished red brick wall with its wide black joints, and the ubiquitous BBC World Service on the TV in the corner giving updates about Nelson Mandela’s health, the Cyprus economy and all the variations on Easter celebrations around the world. I’m not going to push my luck with this internet connection, so lets just say..

Weather: cool but humid; misty mornings, showers in the late morning, beautiful sun and long shadows in the early evening.

“The traffic: courteous, competitive, give way, fill any space… and trust it will all work out in the end.”

Yesterday we took a ninety minute drive to Ntenyo school in the Southern Province. Sal got her first taste of being thronged by 600 noisy kids for no good reason other than having white skin. Not a single cheeky shout of ‘mzungu mzungu’ though. Wow, that’s different! I guess they’ve seen plenty like us come and go.

Traffic: peak hour in Kigali is pretty mad. Courteous, competitive, insistent, take every chance, jump in, fill any space, give way, trust it will all work out in the end. So far so good, but Sal has grabbed my knee more than once, as we passed trucks belching diesel fumes on blind bends.

How are we feeling? Both a little off-colour, at times daunted by the effort of figuring how to do the simple things of life, but enjoying the quiet courtesy and gentle climate.

Thank you all for keeping in touch.