Rwanda is special, green and clean. Dogs aren’t, nor plastic bags. (No dogs = no starving dogs.) People, almost to a woman, man and child, work the land with mattock, from the bottom to the very top of every hill and mountainside. All steep sides are terraced and drained.
It’s absolutely beautiful such that I am fearful of forgetting what I see.
Kigali is built on several hills and this setting is particularly appealing, especially at night with the hillsides twinkling.
I took a ‘moto’cycle to the library down one long curving hill and up another. It is by the American embassy. This library is an attractive glass buildings from both the outside and in. I went because there is an extensive collection of books on genocide. (Both moto driver and passenger must wear helmets which likely gives you an idea of how well this small country is functioning.)
We went by bus to a small university town and attended several memorial lectures on the genocide; ~ 500 people were murdered at the university. We also joined a ceremony at the tomb where ~6,000 are buried. This one full week each year since 1994 is given to exploring the genocide. All flags remain at half-mast.
We went to a small town on the shore of Lake Kivu (the lake is shared with the Democratic Republic of Congo) where we went for a 3.5 hour walk up into the land, all farmland with some quarry works along the road. People sit on the roadside and hammer larger rocks into smaller.
This is a functioning country. Police do not ‘pan-handle’ drivers at arbitrary road checks. Children go to high school where, as of 3-4 years ago, they study principally in English. Homes seem permanent and have metal roofs, though without electricity or piped water. For its size, Rwanda has the highest of population densities yet there appear to be no congested slums.
Much depends on a country’s leadership and Paul Kagame must be not only courageous and honest, but a visionary and benevolent as well. ( I have yet to read “God Sleeps in Rwanda” a critique of his regime.) There is a sense of solidarity here, with self-reliance both the collective and individual goal.