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 Christmas on the equator

Hi everyone, 


It’s been a while since the last blog and a lot has happened so I will try to keep it brief.  After Kili and Safari’s we traveled to Mwanza to start EyeOnAfrica East Africa.  We decided on Mwanza, Tanzania’s 2nd city, because it helped over come the minor issue of the Serengeti National Park.  From Mwanza we cycled along a tough hilly road to Kigali, Rwanda where we stayed with a couple of German NGO’s whom we had met on the website  Julia and Hannes were very welcoming and looked after us whilst we stayed in Kigali, making breakfast and tea every morning, thanks guys.  From Kigali we went to see the silver back gorilla’s in the Volcano’s Mountains.  This was an unbelievable experience as we got so close to one of the gorillas’s that we would have been able to reach out and touch him if we wanted.  Our guide even asked us not to mention how close we had come to the gorilla because you are not supposed to be within 7m of them, opps.  We decided to name the largest silver back Big Dave, got some good pics of Big Dave.  Upon our return to Kigali we decided to visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial which walked you through the whole 100 days of genocide, how it started and the aftermath.  It was a very moving memorial and explained well how such a truly horrible thing had happened.  1 million people were killed in the hundred days of genocide and it was harrowing to see how well it was all planned and executed.  The next day we went to visit a church 30km south of Kigali.  This church had seen some of the worst of the genocide having 10,000 people brutally murdered in 2 weeks.  It also had 42,000 people buried in mass graves outside.  Inside the church the clothing of the 10,000 people was laid out covering every bench, I can’t explain how it feels to see something like that.  You can’t understand how people could possibly do it.  But it got more real as we visited the mass graves outside.  You were able to walk down deep into the graves and there were thousands upon thousands of skulls and bones just lying on shelving.  Everywhere you turned you stared directly at skulls, I spent what seem an eternity down there walking around stunned by the sheer quantity of bones.  It was a very uncomfortable place to be and I certainly didn’t want to spend much time there but wanted to experience the full scale.  Neither Alan nor I said much as we left the memorial, we were too stunned and the church had made the scale of murder as clear as possible.  It really is hard to know how friends can kill friends, husbands can kill wives and fathers can kill children.  To be honest I don’t want to know how people can change like that.   

On a more positive note we have left Kigali and have cycled to Kampala, Uganda.  Not much has happened whilst cycling except for a lot of very challenging hills.  We are hoping to reach Kisumu, Kenya for Christmas where we have arranged a place to stay with somebody off couchsurfing.  We are also hoping to spend Christmas day with Jared’s family.  I don’t know if you remember but Jared helped us get our bikes back in Nairobi and his family live in Kisumu.  So it should be a merry Christmas even if it isn’t cold.  We wish everybody a happy Christmas and New Year.  We’ll be thinking about you all whilst we sweat over our Christmas cake.



posted by   December 20, 2009 4:08 PM  EyeOnAfrica  comments (5)



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