Expedition to Giti
Trip Start Mar 26, 2012
32Trip End Apr 29, 2012
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So this morning we had an early breakfast and were ready to go at 07:15 as planned. James arrived a few minutes before we needed to leave so he could ride with us. A driver and 4WD vehicle chosen by Samuel arrived right on time. We climbed in and started out toward Giti. We stopped first on the outskirts of Kigali, near the "bus station" to pick up more people. The
On the way I talked with Mrs. Burumé about the situation in the Kivu, where she said there is no real government at the moment. Kinshasa has no control over the region which is so rich in rare minerals that it is always a much sought-after prize among regional warlords. I commented that riches can sometimes become a curse and she strongly agreed “the riches of Kivu have become a curse for the people living there” she said.
Soon it was raining heavily which is not uncommon for the season. Samuel drove in front to show the way with his taxi full of people and behind us came a van full driven by another trusted driver named Pierre. We drove half an hour on the paved road and then turned off onto dirt roads for the 90 minutes further it would take to get to Giti. The ride was not comfortable. A 4WD can pull through tough spots better, but the suspension is harder as well so one feels each rut and rock. After a bone-jarring ride up the mountain side we finally arrived in Giti at our church hall. It was still raining steadily and hard. We waited about 20 minutes for the van to catch up, they had fallen behind in the rain and we hadn’t noticed with the poor visibility.
The hall was organized as we shook hands all around and greeted old and new friends and getting set for services. It was at this point I noticed that the Burumés youngest son had sores all over his head. I asked about them. “He has chicken pox” was the reply. Hmm. Jim and I tried to recall what the incubation period was and if one is still contagious if once the sores break out….
We began about 10:30 under a driving rain that pounded on the tin roof; sometimes so hard it was hard to hear anyone speak. We sang hymns and the deacon Mr. Sobobugingo gave a sermonette about why the Feast lasts 7 days. He had to stop for 5 minutes in the middle because the rain came so hard we couldn’t hear him even when he raised his voice. After 5 minutes the rain lightened enough that he could start again. I know we were praying silently that
We were all thankful to note that as the time for the sermon approached, the rain slackened and then as Jim Franks was introduced for the sermon, the rain stopped altogether. There was no more rain for the remainder of the day, and in fact the skies cleared and we had bright sunshine.
By the time everyone had eaten it was time to start cleaning up and preparing for the trip home (for those who didn’t live in Giti). We drove out about 3:30. It took about two hours to get back to
Jim and discussed the day’s events for half an hour or so and then went to have dinner at the Mille Collines, the hotel, I mentioned before, made famous by the film Hotel Rwanda. It has a very nice French-style restaurant on the top (fourth) floor which is open on one side, since the climate allows such an arrangement. We had a pleasant dinner, contemplating the view of the night lights of Kigali, and all the things that had occurred here in this small remote corner of Africa.
Then we headed back to our hotel for the night. We will have another long, no doubt interesting day tomorrow.