The Blog

Dangerous animals

Sun, 2010-07-18

Having travelled and lived in Africa it is a bit lame that we can't report meeting anything very dangerous along our path. Camels, and we have seen plenty of those, are so tame that children look after them. There wasn't a lion in sight, although one day a female baboon which might have been dangerous stuck her nose through the window of the vehicle.

The gentile art of queuing

Tue, 2010-07-13

It is now almost seven weeks since we have been home and any excuses for still acclimatising are fast disappearing into the mists. The fleeces haven't been on for a month, goat on a stick is a distant memory and we are even getting used to that gentile art of queuing again.

Nature's alarm clocks

Tue, 2010-07-13

We used to have an alarm clock but this is another of life's little routines that we appear to have left behind us. Not that we have any difficulty getting ourselves up and about in the morning. In Kigali the day starts early, and our cat Mwaru knows it. The sun is up by five thirty and she is at the door calling to be let in after her night-time vigil.

Beggars everywhere

Wed, 2010-07-07

There are two words in Rwanda which the locals always recognise: amafaranga pfite. It means, loosely, there is no money. This is a sentiment that many Rwandan's associate with and one of the saddest challenges we have faced out there is dealing with the begging that comes from almost every direction.

Standing room only

Tue, 2010-06-29

Rose Street Towers is proving to be a splendid summer residence for us. We have a view of Edinburgh castle from our bedroom window, an old fashioned range in the kitchen and a fireplace to give a nice homely feel.

A small problem of language

Tue, 2010-06-29

Rwanda has traditionally been a Francophone country. After the 1994 genocide, Franco-Rwandan relations deteriorated and Rwanda has made an effort over the years to align itself with the Anglophone East Africa area. As part of this identity change, the country's official language has been changed from French to English.

Culture shock

Sat, 2010-06-26

We have been taking a short rest from the blog while we get used to our new surroundings and throw off the various bugs and infections that seem to have traveled with us from Rwanda. Now that we are more accustomed to the bracing east wind we are starting to find our feet. And our feet have taken us into the depths of Leith where we have had occasion to wander.

Warming up - slowly

Thu, 2010-06-10

Feeling is gradually returning to our fingers and toes after the shock of swapping Rwanda’s sun for the blazing heat of a Scottish summer. Those fleeces we packed away last year have been dug out of their bags and put to good use.

A sad day

Sat, 2010-05-22

We have just spent the day in Remera Rukoma, twenty miles west of Kigali, at a genocide memorial service of the Eglise Presbyterienne. This is the anniversary of when, in 1994, the Hutu Interahamwe surrounded a school run by the church and killed the pastors that had been hiding there.