Up the mountains to Giti

Trip Start Sep 08, 2013
Trip End Oct 04, 2013

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Where I stayed

Flag of Rwanda  , Kigali Province,
Friday, September 13, 2013

This morning Mr. Mundeli called to say he had had a bad night and wasn't well enough to travel with me to Giti, but the driver would be there and a church young adult, Dieudonné, also asked to travel up with me. The driver would be at the hotel at 9:15 for a 9:30 departure. I had time to buy some bottled water and a box of Coartem, an effective treatment for Malaria. I used up my stock of Lariam on my February trip when I’m pretty sure I had a bout with Malaria. It hit me just after I left Africa and was in London; all the usual symptoms, fever, chills, joint pain, profuse sweating, headache. It responded quickly and well to the Lariam which I kept with me just in case. My doctor in the States didn’t think we needed to test for it after the trip, he said just to watch for any recurrence. I didn’t write about it at the time because I wasn’t sure what it was, but after the consultation, we’re pretty sure. Anyway I want to have something on hand so I can start a treatment right away if needed.

The driver was on time, and we left right at 9:15. The RAV4 was carrying about 400 pound of food for the festival upcoming which will be celebrated in Giti, so preparations are already under way. Traffic in Kigali is becoming more and more dense as the country becomes more prosperous. It can take a fair amount of time to get through the city now, due to traffic jams caused by any number of things. We picked up Dieudonné who is from Giti, but now in Kigali to study dentistry. He explained that the state has recently imposed a steep rise in academic fees and we discussed what help the church might be able to provide.  We talked about many other things too, like the weather in America. He was intrigued with the idea that the country was large enough that the weather is not the same everywhere. Rwanda is very small in comparison so there is hardly any variation.

As we drove I noticed that the car was equipped with a little metal tab on the lower edge of the outside rear view mirrors. Most cards have them here to prevent boys from stealing the mirrors. They’re not worth much, but they’re easy to steal and when many were stolen there was a market for replacement parts! Installing the tabs put an end to that thriving market operation.

The road up to Giti was in very poor shape, and with the extra weight in the back we had to proceed very slowly to avoid bottoming out, which we did many times in spite of precautions. The worn shocks complained and gave up on many a pothole. This meant it took about 2 ½ hours to make the trip which under better conditions can take a little less than 2 hours. Mr. Sibobugingo was waiting for us at the hall. He showed me around the hall, the improvements and preparations made, as well an a new lot of ground next door, which we were able to obtain at a very good price. We hope to plant some fruit trees there and perhaps also put some bee hives in which would produce fruit and honey for the use of the members here.

I had a baptismal counseling session with a husband and wife couple, with Mr. Sibobugingo translating. It was gratifying to see how well they understood the baptismal commitment and what we need to do in preparation for it.  We spent about 2 hours together talking, reading scriptures and asking questions. It was clear they were ready to proceed, so we’ll plan on that for tomorrow when we’ll be down by Lake Muhazi.

Having concluded what we needed to do, I shook hands all around and the driver and I started down the mountains again. With a lighter car and the help of gravity, the trip back took about 1 ¾ hours. The views of the hills and mountains of Rwanda were as beautiful as ever. On the way down we have a lovely view of Lake Muhazi a place where we often gather for combined church services, as we’ll do tomorrow.

Back at Chez Lando around 3:00, I had a late lunch/early dinner which finished up at 4:00. The sun sets just before 6:00 pm here, quite early compared to home.

I’ll hope to make it an early night since we’ll have an early start tomorrow and a fairly busy day.
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Tess Washington on

Thank you Mr. Meeker for giving us a picture of Kigali and the brethrens there. We're pray for your good health and the brethrens too. Good to hear about baptismal counseling by a couple. Have a wonderful Day of Atonement!

Lonnie on

Beautiful country and I hope that all had a wonderful day of Atonenent.

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