The main objective in visiting Kigali was to see what progress was being made in Rwanda on the newest Hub in the Camara network. I met Eddy (Hub CEO) for lunch and then traveled by bus to the new centre, a 3 bedroom house close to the Sports Stadium. The place is ideal to start – surrounded by a secure wall, close to public transport and with rent of only є250 per month. Eddy has yet to tell the landlord about the change of use for his house but I’m sure he wont mind! There was a sense of serenity about the scene as we sat outside on the porch while the local carpenters worked around us, building the tables and chairs for the centre. As we chatted easily about plans for the future and how each of us saw Camara developing I soon felt my spirits lifting. After Lesotho I was questioning whether our ‘social enterprise’ model with significant local autonomy was the right one for Camara but talking with Eddy reinforced my belief that it was. Our challenge is to find the right people to execute that model.
My exercise regime is not without its dangers. I was nearly thrown out of the St Famille hostel (run by the Catholic church) today as the manager knocked on my door and demanded to know what all the grunting was about. It didn’t help that I was in my boxers, covered in sweat with Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Foxy Lady‘ playing in the background. Once he checked that no one else was sharing the room he departed reluctantly slowly shaking his head.
Travel tip. If you want to treat yourself to a little bit of luxury while in Kigali there is a lovely restaurant called Heaven around 10 minute walk from St Famille with a large terrace that looks down over the city. It was a magical setting illuminated by candle light and moon light and I had dinner there tonight with Eddy, the two coordinators and the rest of the Rwandan team. Even though the food is some what over priced and the portions are small the beer was cold and the craic was good.
The four genocides are: Rwanda (1994), Cambodia (1975-78), The Holocaust (1938-45), Armenia (1894-96)