So, one of the best aspects of my job is that I get to travel A TON. We have nine teams working in different hospitals around Rwanda (see link below for map). During the week, I make day trips to different cities to check on the teams. I am constantly seeing different problems with different pieces of medical equipment, which is really fun. Unlike the teams, I see new technical problems every day and don’t have to deal with the multi-day frustration that can accompany a tricky repair (though, I had my fair share of frustrations last year. I’ve don’t my time).
In addition to the exciting technical work, I am privileged to have the opportunity to see so much of this beautiful country. Gerard Prunier, the author of “The Rwanda Crisis, A History of Genocide”, describes the Rwandan landscape better than I can…
“From the west to east we first have the depth of the Rift Valley, mostly filled big lakes (Tanganyika and Kivu) separating Rwanda from Zaire, then the sharp bluffs of the Zaire-Nile divide in the 3,000 m range, then the main Rwandese landscape, the ‘land of the 1,000 hills’, and finally, further east, the gently sloping lower lands, partly filed with large marshes, which extend all the way to the Tanzanian Border. Most of the population lives in the medium-altitude area, a land of breathtaking beautiful vistas dotted with countless hills.”
So far I have visited Rwamagana, Gitarama/Kabgayi and Byumba. First impressions:
Rwamagana: A somewhat sleepy town that is a launching point for safaris to Akagera National Park.
Gitarama/Kabgayi: A fairly large town. The elevation makes riding through town nice and cool.
Byumba: A smaller town. There isn’t a straight-shot of road on the way there. Amazing views.
The countryside is so picturesque, I decided I wouldn’t even try to take a picture of it. It just wouldn’t do it justice. Instead, here is one from Google (I know, I know) that is the best photo representation I have seen so far.
Yes, it is this beautiful. I often wonder what Rwandans would think if we dropped them off in west Texas.