We said an emotional farewell to Bishop Jered and his team as we headed for Kigali yesterday.
Our accommodation has moved across the road to Mercy House where the team stayed on previous visits. The view is still the same but the place is unrecognisable from the ‘home’ we knew and loved. The place has been refurbished and extended, the leaky veranda where many pleasant evenings had been spent is now a conference room, much of the garden has ben built on to provide extra accommodation and the rooms all have ensuite bathrooms, with HOT WATER. It is modern and comfortable but has also lost much of its charm.
As we drove through Kigali we marvelled at the new roads with pavements, learnt that livestock must now be kept within the confines of the property, local people can no longer graze their goats and cows along the grass verges. We saw the Eco Park where wildlife is returning, green and smart with walkways to encourage tourists. Previously this area was inhabited, but homes have been cleared and families relocated, not always by choice. Kigali is undoubtedly smarter and more modern, and for those able to capitalise on the new economy their lives will undoubtedly improve, for those who do not fit this new image however, we can only wonder about their future. Unfortunately, like the guest house this growing city has lost much of its charm.
A short visit to a school with Bishop Nathan saw us entertained with song and dance by the students, then back to the guest house for a quick freshen up before enjoying a lovely meal at the New Cactus with Bishop Nathan and his wife Ester.
We are looking forward to a day off today when we hope to have the opportunity to explore the local area.
This afternoon we will meet with Merard, a previously sponsored child who now has a prominent job in the government, followed by a visit to Archbishop Onesphore (retired) and Josephine with whom we worked for many years.
There will be no blog tonight.