Congo


After an exciting day exploring north and east Rwanda’s splendour, we paused at Gisenyi beach and took a lovely swim in lake Kivu, with the Congolese villas watching our back (picture).

This was the first time I was flexible enough to swim butterfly since my clavicle-injury two months ago; sooo good to be able to stretch out and feel free again :)

My international driving license and an improvised lecture in useful usage of handbrakes made Nepo step aside from the steering wheel, so now I can check another box on my to-do list: African serpentine roads in the dark, with occasional monsoon rain and oncoming traffic with non-stop high beam. Check.

Water, for better and worse

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What a day! We took off early in the morning and drove north to the Volcanoes National Park (the famous Silverback Gorillas’ habitat), never stopped since searching for them costs >800USD/person & day, but continued west until we reached Gisenyi on the shore of lake Kivu.

While enjoying the beautiful and never-ending hills, several of the differences we’ve observed compared to Kenya got confirmed; more structure and organised processes, lower crime and corruption levels, but also lower economic maturity and lower national confidence. Which in total seems reasonable and good for a landlocked country that is still just a teenager.

Rwanda is Africa’s most densely populated country, which is why their fields and plantations cover the landscape; no matter the altitude or steepness, as exemplified in the picture by tea-plantations.

Pays des Mille Collines

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Considering Comgolese Goma, real estate recently became a buyer’s market.

Goma was united with Rwandan Gisenyi until the colonisation, but in distinction from Berlin, the wall still stands and the city is still divided. And since we are “in the neighbourhood” (I’m mentally wearing those famous Seven-league boots), there is an urge to check it out; at least from the Rwandan side of the fence.

Regardless of our findings, what I really hope is that UN steps up and makes not just bad decisions now that they get a chance to rebuild a somewhat positive reputation of themselves in Rwanda.

DRC’s Goma

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The last five days have been spent here in Kigali, Rwanda, full of exciting meetings for our research. My good Rwandan friend Charmant that I met in Korea is unfortunately not here (still studying at Kyung Hee University), but connected us to his brother Nepo and friend Emmy (see picture). They have shown Wille and me around in Kigali today, Saturday, and will join us tomorrow when we are heading northeast for the scenic nature and lake Kivu.

In Rwanda!

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