|Banana beer brewed by nuns in Nyamirambo.|
I'm having an 'I love Rwanda' moment. They happen quite regularly.
Just been a bizarre week. Not going out at all this week as I've drunk my quota for 2015 already. Days are blurring into one, finding it hard to remember what I did when.
Friday night I went out with a lovely lady who I worked for briefly last year. She's had a rough time. Worked for the same organisation for about five years, and they've just given her five months' notice as they're cutting all their staff. Went to cheer ourselves up with pizza at Sole Luna - actually, I opted for salmon gnocchi and it was heavenly - with chocolate mousse for pudding. Then we headed to Kisimenti to continue drinking. She really wanted to go dancing, but I have been a bit knackered from late nights recently. Will definitely take her out once I've caught up on sleep. Though I'm not entirely sure where you go dancing anymore. Will let her lead the way.
It's always really nice when a contract colleague turns into a proper friend.
Last night my neighbour B got back to town. He worked at VSO whilst I was here. Took really good care of me, helped me move house and rescued me when my tap fell off and water fountained all over my kitchen. Then, a few weeks after I moved into my house in Kanombe, I'm waiting for a moto into town when suddenly the VSO van pulls up and he runs across the street to greet me. Five years and he recognised me instantly!
I must admit, I recognised him too. I always liked him. So it was really amazing to discover he's my next door neighbour. A couple of months back he joined the UN and he's now based in Sudan, so there was a big party at the bar over the road, Mama Nina's. Had a lovely time. Discovered the lady I was sitting next to was the aunt of a former volunteer but they'd never actually met. I took a photo and Facebooked it over to her. Kigali - where everybody knows everybody.
|Out with friends at Mama Nina's.|
Earlier in the week I'd been invited to a volunteer reunion. Was really, really strange. Sitting at the table with the staff, some I hadn't seen in over five years, yet they felt like family. There were about thirty volunteers in-country when I left, now there's around ninety, including a lot of Kenyans, Ugandans and some Rwandans. Fascinating night, and so good to catch up with everyone, though I don't know any of the volunteers anymore.
Spent over an hour on Skype this morning catching up with my friend Cathryn back in London. She's getting married to a diamond geezer later in the year. We were volunteers out here together.
All of which brings me to tonight. Went out in Nyamirambo with my friend and landlord, IC. Was supposed to be meeting some other friends but they had a medical emergency and couldn't make it. So we wandered up the road to find this bar we'd heard about. It's run by nuns who brew and sell this incredible banana beer. You're only allowed to buy a litre at a time because it's so potent. Took it home via brochettes at a fabulous little place that I love but can never remember the name of. It's a wooden bar covered in fairy lights. Very pretty, nice music, good food.
Very briefly saw LL. She's been unwell, so wasn't out. But introduced her to IC, who is my wingman on all things to do with character judgement, because I - apparently - have none.
Random note, but if anyone's interested in LGBT interests in East Africa, check out Bombastic Magazine, it's been created by Kasha, a Ugandan activist. Really interesting insight.
Had a lovely evening at his place, drinking said banana beer and chatting.
Totally awash with love at the moment. I have so many wonderful friends. Both B and IC have vowed to find me somewhere to live if I need it. We shall see where we get to in a month or two. I'm in no hurry to leave this place just yet, but I could do with a cut in rent. If Jo can get the house behind hers so that I can move in, that would be fantastic. Might hold out here for just a little longer. Rather move straight to Gikondo than move into a stopgap. Tired of moving. But I also really like this neighbourhood. It's nice having B and his friends next door in case I need help with anything, and it's a really, really safe and quiet place because it's all ex-military. Plus there's every type of shop on my doorstep if I need food, beer or printing services.
IC's got another house in the same neighbourhood. Going to take a look this week and think about it.
But none of this really feels like it matters too much, because I know I have such lovely friends who have my back. Really does mean a lot, and I love living in Kigali, whichever end of town I end up.
Anyway. That ends my mad week of social overload. Refusing to leave the house this week. Need to write, work and sleep.