Well, the dry season is upon us. I think it is better know as the dust season! Since we live on a dirt road, the red-brown dust is stirred up by the traffic and floats onto everything. Below is a picture of the hedges in front of the place. Unfortunately, the main road that most of the traffic takes (busses, trucks, etc.) was washed out in the rainy season, and the traffic was rerouted along our road. The dust was coming in and covering everything in the house. Fortunately, the road is now repaired and all that extra traffic is not kicking up the dust on this road anymore – just the regular traffic.
Also, we found out that the Tsetse flies are more active in the dry season in Akagera Park! Last weekend we went with Ross, Chelsea, Alanna, and Steve, and they were a bit ferocious. Below is a picture of what a bite looks like on me! Luckily, my allergic reaction was milder this time around (I am still on the Zyrtec the doctor prescribed). The bites and hives only itched like crazy for a few days and I didn’t get as many hives. And this time I wore only neutral colors, long sleeves, etc. etc. and they still bit me through my clothes. Drew wore two pairs of socks and they bit through those as well. Very tough and determined nasty critters. We saw loads of hippos, antelopes, including oribi and bush buck, but no elephants or lions.
We went on a walking tour of Nyamirambo section of town, kind of a behind the scenes of Rwandan life. It is one of the income-generating activities of the Nyamirambo Women’s Center. We learned about the Women’s Center, visited a hair salon, tailor, people selling cassava flour, veggies, etc., saw men pressing suits with charcoal irons. We learned that the stations in town that everyone goes to get water charge 50RWF for 20 liters. Since this is the original Muslim section of town, we saw several mosques and learned that during the genocide, the people of Muslim faith hid their neighbors and others in the mosques. The perpertrators were scared to go into the mosques and unsure of Muslims so all those who hid there were saved. We visited a women who was pounding cassava leaves with herbs to sell as fresh isombe. I have to admit it smell delicious, with the garlic, etc., but the cassava leaves I have had were bitter and plain. It was very interesting and enjoyable to learn about everyday life of the typical Rwandan.
They have a great website: Women’s Center and Library and it is also the place where I have been volunteering at the NWC Library.
Finally, the baby crane is growing by leaps and bounds. The parents are as protective as ever. Three RDB (Rwandan Development Board) officials/veterinarians were here to check it out and I am suspecting maybe gave it some vaccinations, etc. Not sure, but they were decked out in official garb (see pics in websites below).
We just found out that the whole family is moving to Akagera Park tomorrow! They will become part of the crowned crane release program there!
Click on these links: