Last week, there were two public holidays in Rwanda. One was Heroes’ Day which was on a Tuesday (1st Feb) and the other was an elections day for local leaders, which was on Friday (4th Feb) so in the end, we only went to work for 3 days! How can I not love Rwanda if this trend of holidays continues?
So because Tuesday was a holiday, Kim threw his party on Monday night. Who is Kim? Oh, he’s a fun guy who sits on the board of MGVP. That’s the abbreviation of Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, gorilla doctors who are partners of AoC, where am interning currently. Whenever Kim is in town, he throws a party and everybody is invited. Open bar and some finger foods, what more can anyone ask for on a Monday night? Suffice to say, I got home safe with albeit with little drama involving a captain in the Rwandan army, a cigarette and Amarula. Some stories are left untold, you know?
We went back to work on Wednesday only to learn Friday was a holiday. This time, I just chilled out. Read my book, Wizard of the Crow, by Ngugi wa Thiong’o. Worked on some long overdue report… came up with a nice format/template, now to fill in the information and acquire appropriate pictures.
Later on Friday evening, I went for a walk with my boss to see her friend. The friend (who’s a vet) had just acquired a new puppy, and they were debating on names: Strider, Aragon, Gollum or Rocky. The first three names are from The Lord of The Rings, FYI. The puppy’s a um… I forget the breed but he was only 3 months old. He’d traveled for almost a week, from Paris to Amsterdam to (I don’t know where) to Kigali to here…
She has two other dogs apart from Puppy (his temporary name though Rocky was beginning to stick.) Her 7-year-old daughter is a bundle of energy and she loves animals too. She took me round their place: they have a donkey, called Punda. He’s a cute donkey, little but that’s his size, he’s fully grown. She has a saddle and rides him sometimes.
Next… she showed me their guinea pigs. (Just for those who might be thinking so: they’re not pigs from Guinea but a cross between rats and rabbits.) I didn’t want to hold them at first but after a while, figuring out if they can’t harm a 7-year-old, what can they do to an over (slightly over) 18? So I picked one up, petted it and gave it a carrot. They love carrots. They’re just so cute, one is er.. I forget their names. I think Mdogo and Sir. Mdogo is black and white, and Sir is pure white with sparkling red eyes.
This weekend, I also went for swimming at the nearby Ishema Hotel. You pay about 1500 Rwandan Francs and swim for the whole day.
And after finishing Wizard of the Crow on Sunday, I went to visit a workmate. I’m doing rounds visiting everyone I work with during weekends, don’t ask why. I’m trying to build relations, friendships, you know? Anyway, he made me watch a longer than 1-hr tape of his wedding! (Yawn). But I only write good things about my colleagues, so the wedding was very interesting. No drama, nothing out of the ordinary, just a nice wedding. Then he handed me about 1000-photo album with guess what, just wedding pictures! I was thoroughly entertained. And well fed by my hosts.
Here’s to Rwanda.