Friday was a school day : the twins packed their bags and arrived on our doorstep for Mrs Heathfield to blow the whistle and for us to have literacy, numeracy and RE lessons. Total respect to Miss Downer : how do you do that all the time??
Simon was having a couple of meetings with Elson (the vicar here, and our very helpful “fixer” and english speaker) which were good in so many ways. In the evening he met with a number of local pastors for bible study prayer and encouragement. He drank “char” the local tea – milky and sweet. Yum.
This morning we were up early for a trip out in the car. Except early turned into 10ish and we wished we had stayed asleep a bit longer. Anyhow, that meant the fog could clear and the sun come out a bit….
We headed off south and through the crowds of people cleaning the streets and verges; last saturday of the month is communal work day – everyone must join in with a task for the community. In addition, Paul Kagame the president is coming this way on monday so even more reason to make the place spick and span. The road got smaller and rougher, rougher and bumpier, smaller and even more bumpy. We were jiggled to a jelly and amazed at what people put up with. Our driver was incredibly skilled at missing the holes (not pot holes we brits complain of, more like craters) but this made it feel like driving a chicane, twisting and turning, lurching and swaying, braking and accelorating. Uncomfy!
But then down below, we saw our target! The beautiful lake Muhazi which runs from east to west out of kigali for some 60km . It is stunning andThere is another diocesan retreat house there, where we stopped and looked around and walked out on a jetty. From there we called over a canoe taxi who took Finn Ella Elson and simon on a tour round the lake. Rachel watched the amzing birds – pelicans, ganets, a type of pied kingfisher and some kind of huge bird of prey ( the book suggests a sea eagle?)
We had to come away from there and followed the bumpy road along the edge of the lake back to the main road to Byumba. Phew, tarmac once more! We then looked at the tea plantation on the valley floor below the mountain that Byumba is on. It really is extraordinarily beautiful! Such a lush green and each bush perfectly round. The plantation literally wenton for miles and miles!
Then back up the mountain climb of a bumpy road back to Byumba. People everywhere walking to do their saturday shopping! Everyone on the roadsides waving and shouting “muzunga!” very excited to see us white people!
Back to the house for a quietish afternoon, enjoing the stillness of solid ground!