A Weekend Break in the Northern Hemisphere #2: Kampala and Lake Victoria

Crossing the border from Rwanda to Uganda, a traverse from Francophone to Anglophone Africa, offered subtle changes from the bus window for those who cared to notice them – suddenly billboards were written in English; driving on the right became wrong; there were cricket pitches. Uganda, proud African nation through and through, still had hints…

A hike up Mount Bisoke and a lesson in understanding gorilla sounds

One Friday afternoon, with Freddy’s permission, I snuck out from work early – we had decided to climb the perfectly conical volcano, the 3,700 metre high Mount Bisoke, and Mike and I were soon on the road in a pick-up driving to a town in north-west Rwanda called Ruhengeri (today called Musanze); we passed terraced…

Sometimes on Tuesdays, always with tea (Part Two)

(To read part one of this post please click here) On one of our regular meet-ups Vincent* told me how he was rescued as a 13 year old orphan at the end of the Rwandan genocide by a platoon of soldiers. They took him, his younger sister, niece and brother to a UNICEF camp for…

Sometimes on Tuesdays, always with tea

Sometimes you can’t see how incredible a person is when you first meet them. Still waters run deep, people are like rivers whose long courses from distant springs are uncertain, or like books, whose covers give mere hints to what is inside. It takes time to get to know them, or perhaps it takes some…

Faith, devotion and complicity

I enjoyed lazy starts to the day on the veranda, shooting the breeze with Peter the security guard. We’d breakfast on toast and tea, staring at the banana plants and far-off hills that cupped Kigali, waking up with the sun to the background of a crackling radio. This post continues the blog series Letters from…

Where you never walk alone

In contrast to my daily commute in London, my walk home in Kigali was rarely dull, no two journeys were ever the same. Sometimes I encountered friendly faces and random, curious hellos. At times it felt welcoming and for anyone who’s ever consistently made an urban commute, in the hushed solemnity of an underground of…

The sports bar in the heart of Africa

Football (or soccer for followers of this blog across the Pond) often gets in to the press for the wrong reasons. Hooliganism, racism, homophobia, overpaid players and corruption all drag the name of football through mud; but in its purest form, the game played by children in, well, mud, brings people together no matter their…

Electric-green unplugged

Today it’s April the 7th 2018, a day that marks the 24th anniversary of the start of the Rwandan genocide. One million people were killed in a hundred days in one of the darkest, most horrific, most shameful periods in history. This post is part of the series ‘Letters from the Heart of Africa’ first…

As Time Goes By …

Giving a training course to a group of nurses in Rwanda gave me a new perspective on the concept of time and the meaning of urgency and importance. This is the next post in the Series, ‘Letters from the Heart of Africa’. *** It’s curious that we humans, who are all imperfect, expect perfection with…