Greetings from Kigali, Rwanda. We wrote an update on Tuesday night, our last night in Kampala, but the computer crashed at the internet cafe and we were too tired and sick to try and re-create it. We both have horrible diarhea and Tuesday, I (Steve) had a fever and chills that made me good for nothing. We are actually excited to be nearing an end to our trip so we can return to normal roads, western food, and our native language. Not to mention, of course, we desperately miss our kids.
We are staying at the Milles Collines Hotel, which is unfortunately not as nice as the one in the movie Hotel Rwanda. The service staff is fairly unfriendly and few speak english, so it has made it less than the perfect end to our trip we thought it would be. We had also planned to either go trekking to see gorillas or yellow monkeys, or even head out to see the genocide museum. But after yesterday's bus ride, we are in NO MOOD WHATSOEVER to travel for one more minute on these roads! All of these things are a ways out of Kigali so that has precluded seeing much more than what we saw on the way into town and from the taxi stand to our hotel (although Steve did walk to the Kigali Bank today, past the gauntlet of armed security guards and begging/hawking people). Frankly, we're enjoying having some time to rest and relax after th frenetic pace we've kept since arriving.
Now the bus ride. The WORST nine hours of our lives, hands down! We were already sick (which may be a result of eating the hairy goat meat served to us in Daniel's village, or the chicken that was tougher than leather, or perhaps from swallowing too much of the Nile during our rafting adventure) which made sitting on the back row in non reclining seats while the people in front of us lay in our laps while we worried whether there would be frequent enought toilet stops for our diarhea. Fortunately we had no accidents, other than missing the hole in the ground when squatting, but the feeling of clostrophobia was inescapable and grew worse with each passing hour. There was a man sitting on a stool in the aisle next to us (his ride may have been worse, but he didn't look green like we did) and the woman across the aisle from us kept asking us to close our window. Without the air, or knowing there was an open window close at hand to puke out of if necessary, I don't think we would have made--Emily for sure anyway. The roads here are in the worst condition imaginable. You have probably never seen roads like this in all your life--at least we had not. The are riddled with potholes (suspension-ending in depth) and then there are massive speed bumps in every village you pass along the way to slow down the crazy drivers here. But, if you remember from you school bus days, when the back seats were coveted for the extra bounce you received from every bump, these were the LAST seats that we wanted. I suppose we were fortunate even to get seats, though, since they had given our reserved seats up in the middle of the bus away since we were a few minutes late. Why can't they be that meticulous in their road care?! We also had to endure a stretch of dirt road that was also more suited to a 4X4 than a bus. As a result, when we finally pulled in last night, we both flopped on the bed and talked about getting up and doing something more, but other than runs to the toilet, that was where we stayed until morning (Sylvia, thanks for the Imodium in the first aid kit you sent us with to London, the sutff we bought must be sitting back in our flat along with the gum we have been longing to chew). So, with that bus experience so fresh in our minds, the thought of traveling even a couple hours to see either the genocide memorial of even further for the gorillas is an unbearable thought.
At the risk of losing this entry like the last one, I'm going to post now and let Emily share some of the other details from the last few days with you.
See you all soon! Hooray!