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Finally, Kigali.

Monday 6th September 2010

Stepping out of the airplane.

Glance at the ground beneath your feet and you will immediately know that you are in Africa: it’s as if someone above decided to dress up the soil a little, dab on it a heavy layer of blush. Glance above and you will immediately know that you are in Kigali: faint silhouettes of gently rolling hills ring the horizon, becoming lighter and lighter until they dissolve into the sky. In London, buildings jostle each other for space along the sides of cramped little roads; red double-deckers bump along them, their tops scraping the branches of trees. Kigali, on the other hand, with its bare sky and undulating skyline, gives you an immediate sense of openness, and of release.

Up and down the thousand hills.

‘I wonder why no one rides a bicycle around here,’ mused Naveed during one of our airport pick-up rides to and from the hotel. As we began our ascent up on of Kigali’s many hills, realization dawned upon his face: ‘Ahhh, I see.’

Kigali city sprawls across four ridges – and across the valleys that fall in between. Squat little buildings, pale pink and green and blue, elbow each other for space in these depressions, bustling cups of civilization that seem to be clambering their way up to the very top of the hills. Our hotel is located on one such hill, the Ministry of Youth on another, Kigali International Airport on yet another. At night when it is dark and the homes in the valleys are lit, faint dots of flickering light, it seems as if a starry sky has inverted itself.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Monday 6th September 2010 11:08 pm

    Jambo and great to be here, in the one hundred hills country !

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