The Blog

Familiar, but not quite

Sun, 2010-08-29

We have learnt that Africans are not above plagiarism. There is a brand of Kenyan margarine here, cunningly disguised like something sold at home. This one is called Blue Band margarine. Coming a close second in the imagination stakes is the beef gravy powder we have called OYO. Home from home, except not quite.

The unpacking has started

Sat, 2010-08-28

One of the bonuses of living an itinerant lifestyle is that every now and again one is reunited with one's belongings and it is like Christmas has come early. This week we have retrieved our possessions from storage and discovered the joys of rummaging around all the things we had forgotten about while we were at home.

Welcome to Rwanda

Tue, 2010-08-24

We awoke yesterday morning after another four hours sleep with nothing in the larder. With food a priority, we finished the water in our bags and headed into town for a breakfast of tea and chapatis at the Catholic run Economart cafe. Gone for the time being are the Scotch pies and fish suppers we had indulged in at home. A leaner diet of beans and rice beckons.

Some things never change

Tue, 2010-08-24

We have only been away three months, and it has to be said, not much has changed. A small boy greeted us the other day as we walked into town. "Give me money!" is something we have heard often. As I type this, outside my office window one of the women from the restaurant next door still hangs out the washing to dry.

Back to school

Thu, 2010-07-22

When Mrs R announced that she was going to take a TEFL course we thought she was looking at upgrading her non-stick cookery skills. A while later we realised that a teaching English as a foreign language qualification might just be what she could use back in Kigali.

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.