(We now return to another episode of Sherry & Karen’s Excellent Safari Adventure).
Friday, Oct 17
We say a sorrowful goodbye to our friends at the Gorilla Nest Lodge and have them all sign our book.
9:00 a.m. – After another delicious breakfast and loading up on So. African coffee, Sam picks us up for our visit to a special women’s co-op, Co-op Avmararo . Ladies work in the fields and 2 days at the co-op. We go shopping: walking sticks, woven bowls & plates, beads and a T-shirt featuring our gorilla group which they make up in 5 minutes. How will we ever get this stuff home? We’ll figure it out …
Learning To Carve
We continue our drive down the mountain, past Mucenze to a local farmers market. Very busy, lots of activity and people, selling vegetables, clothes, yellow cans. Karen buys beautiful piece of green textile and has it altered and sewn with a finish for a whopping 10 cents. Done while we wait. Sam buys corn on the cob for his family.
Women’s Sewing Cooperative
Driving back to Kigali, stop in small town again for more banana wine. Left my bright blue purse in bathroom – same one Karen got locked in – must be jinxed. Ran back upstairs and grabbed it! Rain on and off, still warm and muggy, back to Mille Colline Hotel, same room.
Sam picks us up for an afternoon at the Nyamirambo Women’s Community Center run by New Dawn Associates. He introduces us to Martin and Jean who are our tour guides. The center educates and trains and equips Muslim neighborhood women with life skills. Computers, sewing, library for children (reading books & learning English).
We buy colorful hand stitched gift bags for gifts, make a donation to center, and tip our guides! Find out our dear Sam actually lives in the ‘Giraffe’ apartment building in this town. We stroll past recording studios, hair salons, restaurants, tire shops ( daytime) that turn into movie theatres (nighttime). Very busy and bustling town.
Learning To Work
It’s our last day in Kigali and we leave for Starbucks (yes, Starbucks) to meet with a colleague from Sam’s company, where we give him a great review (no surprise), light bite, good coffee/bad sandwich. Back to Mille Colline, great music and entertainment downstairs, beautiful people attending. But we have a 4 a.m. wake up call and have to prepare and sleep….