Sunday, 29 April 2012

Lake Mugesera

Yesterday I finally got the chance to do something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time, but never quite made it. I got to walk all the way down to lake Mugesera, the lake you can see on the walk to and from my TTC. Now the lake looks so near yet is so very far away. I set off with Julius, the new vol and Andrew, one of my Ugandan colleagues to get to the lake. It was a wonderful walk. We passed through small remote villages of mud houses and fields of banana trees and walked passed groups of children playing. One boy had made his own stilts out of a couple of sticks. They really were impressive and he could walk so fast on them! I did manage to get a picture but it was not the best as he was so fast he kept getting out of shot. 

We walked for what seemed like a very long time, over Rwanda’s mountainous terrain, every now and then stopping to ask for directions. As we got further from Nzige we came across some very remote communities that are well and truly tucked away. This is real rural Rwanda, a half day walk away from any big village or town. The people there were really charming and friendly, but were definitely not used to a sweaty muzungu striding through their village! I caused quite a stir, some poor kid nearly tripped over because he was staring at me so much.  

We finally arrived at the lake after walking for three and a half hours and it was every bit as beautiful as I was hoping. The water was very calm and clear. You could see the reflection of the clouds in the water and there were young boys fishing on the shore. They were trying to catch the small fish you often see cooked here in people’s homes and in restaurants. As I sat down by the lake to rest my feet I couldn’t help but think there is nowhere else I’d rather be right now. I am so lucky and privileged to have been given this experience and I will miss beautiful Rwanda so much when I return to my cold and miserable country of origin. 

Eventually we had to leave as it was beginning to get dark. We were getting really tired when we reached the main dirt track again and we still had a couple of hours of walking to go. Fortunately for us a car came past, which is a very rare occurrence on that road. They had lots of space and allowed us to hitch a ride back to Nzige, where we re-hydrated by drinking lots of fanta in the bar. A perfect end to a perfect day.

A boy and his stilts

Flowers at the side of the dirt track

Banana trees

The Rwandan sky

Lake Mugesera from a distance

A typical house near the lake

Boys fishing on the lake

A young boy with his fishing rod and bucket of fish

Lake Mugesera

Me and Juluis, the new volunteer, by the lake

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