On Sunday, my housemate and I decided to be explorative.
We set our sights on climbing to the top of Mt. Kigali, a pretty little bump in the wavy landscape surrounding Kigali town. Seen here in the background from our clinic, it was about a 20 minute bus ride from the bus station in the middle of town, Mimoji, which is about a 30 minute walk from our house. After hopping off somewhere close to the base of the mountain, we began winding our way through narrowing streets, eventually walking next houses (or sometimes into them). Children would wander after us and peter off after a few minutes. Eventually a teenage girl jokingly offered us some of the corn that she was eating and, sticking my hand into her yard, happily accepted it. Munching and meandering, we made our way up and up and up. After about 45 minutes of attempting to find a path to the forest that topped the mountain, we came across a promising one. Barely visible but still frequently trodden, we crunched our way through the leaf-covered ground, sliding backwards on the tiny rocks and layers of leaves.
As we climbed, the herd of children and teens following us morphed into only two boys (11 and 12 years old) and one kid named Erik (22 years old). Between our blind intuition and the three of them, we pieced together a path to the peak. As the top, we crossed a dirt road, passing by some guys leaned against tree trunks and another chatting it up on his phone. After 50 meters, the forest opened up into a vast, cascading plain allowing glimpses of the mountains that sprung up between the road to Gisenyi in the West. Barely visible along the skyline was a double peaked mountain that contained a volcano in Virunga National Park in the DRC. We relaxed, shared some biscuits and took some jumping photos. We are wazungu after all!
The hike down took about an hour and was puncutated by my housemate’s first taste of sugar cane. We bought a whole branch for 100Rfr (15 cents) and gave some to the boys, Erik, and one of his friends that passed by. The mama selling it laughed as we attempted to eat the sugar cane as readily of our Rwandan company and agreed to take a photo with these highly incompetent wazungu.
The day ended with us exhausted, a bit sunburnt and hopping on motos as we waved goodbye to our new friends and sped home for water and libations.
The random adventure turned out, per usual, to be totally worthwhile!