Journey to Africa: Part 1: Tanzania: A Thousand Hills

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My friend, David (who I talked with about math and evolution on previous blogs, links are below.) went on a backpacking trip in Africa recently. This is his story of the experience of other cultures.


This is the eleventh and final blog in part 1 of this series. Here is the link for the page where the others can be found:


June 4, A Thousand Hills:


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The land of a thousand hills. That’s the nickname that Rwanda has been given due to its copiously rolling hilly landscape. The city is beautiful. It’s very different from anything east of the border. Few people speak Swahili here, but a lot of them speak English. The view from the hostel’s rooftop pateo is beautiful. You can see the streets and the buildings on the hillside in the distance as if you were flying in a plane.


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In the morning, Sarah Bell, Claudia and I went for a walk in the marketplace and then got some smoothies. On the way, Brett joined us. The streets here are more modern, more like cities. There are sidewalks everywhere. They’re not like the dirt pathways that line the roadsides in Tanzania. Police officers are quite common on the streets. On the roundabout crossing, there were three of them. At the market that looked like a green painted school, vendors welcomed us at every door. However, they all seemed to pretty much be selling the same thing; African artifacts and print clothing. We made our way back to the hostel in the hot Rwandan sun. We walked through a garden route in the side of the river as we took pictures.


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Our first full group exploration of the city centre happened after lunch in the afternoon. On our way up there, we walked up a hill for several miles in the tiring sun. The buildings might not be as huge as those in New York City, but the site was very modern. We visited a mall with all of the latest brand names, had some drinks in another cafe, and shopped for souvenirs in another store.


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Later, we broke into smaller groups. Claudia, Brett, Sarah Bell, Sofie and I went to see the infamous Hotel Rwanda. It was the safe haven that was set up in 1994 by U.N. peacekeeping forces during the Rwandan genocide. The hotel is still in full operation. It looks very luxurious with beautiful paintings on the wall, splendid views, and a fancy penthouse restaurant that we also went to visit. At the time, the restaurant was closed, but they let us go inside just to see it. We admired the panoramic view of the city under a cloudy sky. This restaurant was where many of the shots in the movie, Hotel Rwanda, were filmed.


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After we made our way back to the mall at around 5 o clock, we got motorcycle taxis, or Boda Bodas, to take us back to our hostel. Brett and Claudia headed there on foot.


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