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Entries "October 2006":

Sunday, 15 October 2006

Sunday October 15th

Hi all

It's Sunday afternoon and I'm settling down in front of the computer after a lovely weekend.  Elson and I went to Nyanza on Friday to visit our friend Mary.  Mary is a volunteer who will be leaving soon ... tear!  We had a great visit though.  Saturday morning we went to the King's palace (both the modern one built by the last King and the replica of the traditional grass hut that the Kings used to live in).  It was alright but I have to say I'd take the grass hut any day over the more modern colonial house.  The modern house was like a furnace in the mid-day sun while the grass hut was cool and dark.  Normally the King's hut would have about a dozen smaller grass huts behind it... this one had two... the milk hut and the beer hut.  The first contained calabashes and wooden bottles and jugs traditionally used for storing and drinking milk.  There were big calabashes for making butter.  The women would sit in the hut and sing and shake their calabashes to make butter for the King.  Security was very strict as well and one girl would be given the job of sleeping in the hut to guard the King's milk overnight to avoid poisoning.

After the palace, we headed to the new art gallery in Nyanza.  It was amazing to be in a real art gallery in Rwanda.  The gallery is located in the building that the last King was building for his home before he died.  During the visit there were times when I felt like I was visiting an art gallery and times when I felt like I was house-hunting as we were shown the empty rooms meant for the King's children and as we all stood oooh-ing an aaaah-ing over the bathroom fixtures (which were similar to bathroom fixtures found in any North American or European home). 

Mary headed back to Butare with us and today we went with Antonia for a little walk in the arboretum at the University.  I took about 200 photos of trees...  James I'm sure you can't wait to see that!  We sat in the bamboo grove.  Bamboo is so beautiful with all its perfectly straight stripes.  After our walk we headed to the hospital for lunch, yes that's right, the hospital has a very nice little café.  We had mélange (rice, beans, fries, and little green aubergines with carrots).  We also drank some ikivuguto (a sort of yogourt drink that is very common here) an now my stomach is ready to burst. 

One more thing I want to mention is that I just read an email from my sister and got some news from the Calgary folks so a few little messages to convey:  Hello to all family and friends who might be reading out there,  Congratulations to Anna!  (I didn't even know you were pregnant!),  Congratulations to Becky!   It's good to hear what everyone's up to out there so lots of hugs to you all.

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Written by: cathie78    in: My travelblog