Heading to Rwanda
Trip Start Apr 02, 2014
33Trip End May 07, 2014
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I thanked them for their hospitality and their faithfulness and said I looked forward to seeing them again in just a few months. Mr. Prodigue drove me to the airport where I checked in and waited until the emigration desks opened (only half an hour before my flight was to leave).
This time we traveled in a prop-propelled ATR for the short hop back to Mauritius. On arrival, even though I was in transit, I had to talk to an immigration agent and turn in another health form. Virtually as soon as I arrived at the departure gate it was time to board the Air Mauritius A319 bound for Nairobi. The flight took a little more than four hours during which we had breakfast and I continued following Theodore Roosevelt's presidency. I hadn’t realized how close the US came to war with Kaiser Wilhelm’s Germany in the very early years of the 20th century; that was one fascinating story among many.
We landed in Nairobi with a one-hour time change, just before noon local time. As we deplaned, we were sorted on the tarmac into two groups, those entering Kenya, and those in transit. I was directed with the latter to a stairway leading up into the departure lounge. When we arrived in the entry passageway, the glass doors were locked with a large chain and padlock. The passengers in front of me appeared to be new to the airport, they looked around confusedly wondering what to so. Coming through this airport several times a year, I knew a way to get prompt attention. I shook the chain making as much noise with it as possible. Almost immediately, an airport employee showed up with a bunch of keys and tried half a dozen before finding the right one and releasing us into the departure area.
I picked up the boarding pass for the next flight and headed to the Kenya Airway lounge for a free lunch (I know, I know…). I caught up on my journal and got some other work done while I waited for my flight to Kigali. The lounge had been moved to the departure area, no doubt due to the big fire that occurred last year. The lounge is pretty cramped now and very noisy, a situation that is not helped by thoughtless travelers. A large fellow was having a Skype conversation in Italian with no headset, so not only was he speaking loudly, the whole lounge could also hear his interlocutor almost as loudly.
Another traveler had his computer or phone set to make a whistling sound every time he performed a certain operation, which he was doing several times each minute. It was very annoying, but the staff did nothing. All sorts of constant background noise is such a part of African societies that I find many Africans would rather have even the most annoying background noise rather than silence. I breathed a sigh of relief when they finally left for their flights.
Formalities went quickly at the airport, so I was able to quickly get a taxi to Chez Lando, my usual hotel in Kigali. Chez Lando was opened by Lando Ndasingwa, a moderate politician who was abducted with his Canadian wife and their two children at the start of the genocide. They were all later murdered. The hotel is now run by the surviving members of his family.
I settled into my room, and then went to the Chez Lando barbecue pit famous for its goat brochettes, though I prefer the beef ones which are much less chewy. I had a brochette for dinner, which was quite good, though one must be prepared to wait quite a while for the food to arrive. As I arrived back in my room, the phone rang. Mr. Mundeli asked how I was and welcomed me to Rwanda. He told me he planned to stop by the see me tomorrow (Thursday) morning so we can plan for our upcoming activities.
My Review Of The Place I Stayed