But the View is Worth It

Pizza party!

Pizza party!

Guillome is an awesome photographer

Guillome is an awesome photographer

A Bobcat and a Mule in Rwanda

A Bobcat and a Mule in Rwanda

We have been very blessed to meet some awesome friends here, and among our best friends are Simone from Bates and her Rwandan host brother Guillome. This past week and weekend were filled with some awesome adventures with the two of them! On Wednesday we went to their house to make pizza for dinner! Though Italy can certainly claim ownership for the concept of pizza, everyone here thinks of it as an American food. So the three American girls taught the rest of Simone’s Rwandan friends how to make pizza! Over the past month Emily and I have quickly learned that nothing here can happen without a fiasco. So when the pizzas were prepared and ready to cook, of course the oven would not turn on. After an hour or so of trying to have Guillome translate with the house boy (a concept which deserves its own commentary- but suffice it to say that this seems like servanthood to us, but is viewed positively here) we finally commuicated to him that he just had to hold a match to the fuel source. It was a bit frustrating, but ultimately it worked, and we had a great night!

Nyabugogo bus station- the start of a terrifying journey!

While we made pizza we also planned a much needed weekend get away to the shoes of Lake Kivu! The four of us traveled to Gisenyi, a large resort town in the Western Province which borders the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Due to our track record with fiascos, we were not surprised one bit that we got a late start, and promptly had the most TERRIFYING three hour bus ride ever. It’s scary enough making any long journey along curvy mountainous roads- but to make matters worse, just add an over-packed 12 passenger van, flying 120 KPH past pedestrians, passing large trucks, and narrowly missing swerving oncoming vehicles around every curve. And because the awful driving was not bad enough, of course we were surrounded by 5 African men who were trying to hit on us in about five different languages. Emily told me about this time she made a treacherous hike up a mountain, but she found out it was worth while because the view at the top was beautiful. So our motto for the rest of the trip became, “But the View is Worth It.” Thankfully, the trip lived up to these expectations! The pictures from the trip are so phenomenal that I will explain the rest of the trip through photos:

The view WAS worth it

The view WAS worth it

The beautiful tropical landscape on the shores of Lake Kivu looking out from our guest house

The beautiful tropical landscape on the shores of Lake Kivu looking out from our guest house

Guillome's cousin, Christian, lives in Gisenyi, and found this SWEET guest house which was right across the street from his family's house

Guillome’s cousin, Christian, lives in Gisenyi, and found this SWEET guest house which was right across the street from his family’s house

We went to the beach at Lake Kivu Serena Hotel for the afternoon- talk about paradise! It was crazy to think of how nice the resort was compared to the way most of the country lives.

We went to the beach at Lake Kivu Serena Hotel for the afternoon- talk about paradise! It was crazy to think of how nice the resort was compared to the way most of the country lives.

We ended up going on THE (single) pontoon boat in the lake, and rode right up to the Congolese border

We ended up going on THE (single) pontoon boat in the lake, and rode right up to the Congolese border

Oh, just as a side note, the Rwandan equivalent of "American Idol" happened to be taking place on Saturday when we were there. It's called "Primus Guma Guma," which is named after a popular beer brewed in Gisenyi. Naturally we ate dinner in the restaurant as the stars, and were invited to the VIP section from Guillome's other cousin, because that seems to be the trend for us!

Oh, just as a side note, the Rwandan equivalent of “American Idol” happened to be taking place on Saturday when we were there. It’s called “Primus Guma Guma,” which is named after a popular beer brewed in Gisenyi. Naturally we ate dinner in the restaurant as the stars, and were invited to the VIP section from Guillome’s other cousin, because that seems to be the trend for us!

Chillin on the beach with Christian

Chillin on the beach with Christian

Sunset over Lake Kivu

Sunset over Lake Kivu

Sunday we went to Christian's family's house and made Mac n' Cheese for lunch.

Sunday we went to Christian’s family’s house and made Mac n’ Cheese for lunch.

Cooking pasta over a charcoal fire!

Cooking pasta over a charcoal fire!

American cuisine in a Rwandan household- Ella (the youngest kid), Simone, Emily, and Christian's mom

American cuisine in a Rwandan household- Ella (the youngest kid), Simone, Emily, and Christian’s mom

Ella loved playing with Emily's hair...

Ella loved playing with Emily’s hair…

...and so did Guillome :-)

…and so did Guillome 🙂

Before heading out we stopped by hot springs and were greeted by hoards of children who gave us “umuzungu massage” with “medicine” (which entailed rubbing plants on our arms with the warm water). They also showed us how they cook sweet potatoes in the boiling water! Definitely a highlight of the trip so far.

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2 thoughts on “But the View is Worth It

  1. Hello Brittany
    I so glad to see that you are having such an amazing time. I’m sure you will leave there with some incredible memories. It looks beautiful and the people seem to enjoy having you there. We all miss you and love you.
    Mark

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