Two days of relaxation

What a great idea it was to plan some ‘down time’ at the end of our trip! We have so enjoyed these two days.

Sunday began with an 8 am English Communion Service at the Cathedral – possibly the first one there after the opening ceremony. It was a glorious mix of the old and new – modern songs accompanied on a key board alongside a liturgy based on the 1662 Book of Common Prayer! The bishop presided and a Dutch pastor, working here, preached. Quite an experience all round.

Our journey north to Musanze took us the whole day, on a winding road following the east coast of Lake Kivu. Very little traffic and absolutely stunning scenery. We couldn’t have asked for more. There must be more than 1000 hills in Rwanda! Musanze is Rwanda’s second city and is close to 4 volcanoes. Tourism brings many visitors, especially to see the gorillas.

Today, we made a special visit to Imbabazi, the home and gardens of the late Ros Carr author of ‘A land of a thousand hills’. This was a most moving experience enhanced by the commentary of Emmanuel who runs the centre now and had worked for Ros for a number of years. Initially intended as a working farm, it became a refuge and home for orphans of the genocide. It still exists to support local children and has a nursery school based there. The gardens are full of a wide range of beautiful flowers and interesting vegetables – it looked almost English! Ros Carr’s home is just as she had it at the time of her death. We had coffee in her lounge! Part of the film ‘Gorillas in the mist’ was made here.

The afternoon was spent in Gisenyi, the border town with Goma in DRC. Some of us had a swim in Lake Kivu – a few white female bodies amongst almost entirely male black ones! There was just one African lady swimming, fully clothed! We were quite a spectacle watched by many bewildered Rwandans.

Please see next blog for the photos.

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