Diversity and Languages
The first major wave of genocide that Rwanda faced was in 1959. At this time millions of Rwandans fled the country and headed to refugee camps in surrounding African countries. Many settled in countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Congo and raised families. Others moved further afield and are scattered all over the world. After the 1994 genocide, Rwandans were encouraged to return home. Those who had been raised in Congo and Burundi are now French speakers, while those raised in British colonies spoke English. Rwanda today has a blend of cultures and languages predominantly due to so of the population being raised in the diaspora. Kinyarwanda is the national language while French and English is commonly spoken.
Rwanda is most famous for Gorilla trekking. Dian Fossey spent years studying the gorilla families in the 1970s and her movie 'Gorilla's In The Mist' retels her story. Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda is safe and a life changing experience. Althought the permits are expensive, Gorilla Trekking attracts tourists from around the world.
In addition to Gorillas, Rwanda has many tourist attractions. Lake Kivu offers a variety of water based activities. Tropical rainforests provude tourists with the opportunity to see flora and forma unique to the region. Rwanda has tea and coffee plantations and many local tourism activities.
Coffee Shops and Restaurants
Kigali is fortunate to have many beautiful coffee shops and restaurants dotted all over the city. Coffee shops serve excellent coffee and most have exquisite views. Restaurants are many and varied and serve all kinds of interbational dishes.
On the last Saturday of every month the entire country of Rwanda shuts down and people participate in locally organized community development/improvment activities. Led by the President of the country, community groups get together to paint, clean, dig and restore their local areas.
A Thousand Hills
Rwanda is commonly known as The Land of a Thousand Hills. Steep hills cover the surface of the whole country.This means there are incredible views across most areas of Kigali. It also means that comfortable walking shoes are must as part of any walking journey will consist of walking up and down a hill.
One Family, One Cow
There is a governtment policy in Rwanda that ensures every family is entitled to one cow that is given to them by government. African countries do not have social systems such as those in Australia. The one cow policy acts as a kind of social security framework for families. With a cow you can sell the calves or establish a heard. It is amazing how ownership of a cow can reduce poverty significantly and empower a family.
Every Child Should Wear Shoes
Jigger are small worm like creature that get into the human body through the feet. They lay eggs that get into the bloodstream and cause severe problems.
Jiggers can be stopped simply by wearing shoes. In Rwanda there is a government policy hat ensures all children are provided with shoes and wear them. Simple and effective! When you drive out in the countryside that majority of children will be seen wearing green crocs like slip on shoes.
Women in Government
Rwanda has the highest population of women in government in the world. 70% of all politicians in Rwanda are women.
African countries are often associated with insecurity. Violent crimes along with petty theft are prominent in most large African cities. Kigali is reputed to be the safest city in Africa while Rwanda is the safest country in Africa and some say the world. Every day at 3:30pm vehicles carrying military personnel deliver soldiers to stretegic positions across the city where they stand guard until the early hours of the morning. These security officers may look a little scary at first sight , wearing full combat gear and carrying AK47s, however they do an excellent job of providing security across the country.
Rwanda is one of the first countries in the world to completely ban the use of plastic bags. When you go to the supermarket you are either given a paper bag to carry your goods or you bring your own reusable bags
Milk is bought from a local milkzone, which is a small shop that sells fresh pasteurized milk. To buy milk, you take your reusable milk container to the milk zone and it is refilled. Milk is affordable and extremely delicious.