Sunday, May 10, 2009

I have arrived...

After a delay in Nairobi, I finally arrived in Kigali around noon on Friday.
I flew on a small Regional jet and asked for a window seat so I could see some of the country. Rwanda is lush and green, hilly and dotted with lakes. We landed at Kigali International Airport which is the about the size of Santa Barbara airport.
A young woman who is also working with Project Akilah, Amanda, waited over four hours for me at the airport. We took a short taxi ride on a very good road with no traffic (very different from my Cairo experience) to my new apartment at PRIMA 2000. I am in apt 604 which is on the fifth floor.
I have included some photos of the apartment and views from my deck so you can see what $2065 a month will buy you in Rwanda.
I was very tired after the overnight flight and errand running so around 8:00 PM I started getting ready for bed. I had hooked up my water pick and blew a fuse and burnt out the appliance itself. Luckily I packed a flash light and was able to find my way to the porter at the front gate. He only spoke French and Kinyarwandain. Thank heavens I made it through level one of the Rosetta Stone French! It took about an hour for the maintenance engineer to arrive and he showed me where the fuse box is because he said I will probably do it again with my hair dryer or some other appliance. Hence I have air dried my hair.
Amanda has been an incredible help in working through issues with the apartment manager, bank, supermarket, transportation etc. On Saturday we did a few more errands (bought an inexpensive cell phone) and tried to get passport photos taken because I need them to open a bank account. The photographer was in the store but she said she could not take the photo until Monday and gave no reason why. I am beginning to understand what doing things on Africa time means.
She and her friend Gad took me to an outdoor restaurant on one of the hills surrounding Kigali for lunch and it had a great view of the city. On the way, Gad was a great tour director and pointed out many things of interest.

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