Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Hellos and Goodbyes

L-R: Me, Maia, Nadine, Cindy and Maja

About to make a couple of travel updates so thought I'd get the general stuff out the way first. It's all change here at the moment. Said goodbye to my good friend Maja last month, and welcomed back my good friend Maia. Confusing, huh? It was one heck of a leaving do. Huge gathering at her restaurant with fire pit and buckets of sangria, then a house party with cake. Got home around 4:30 a.m. and took two days to recover.

Thanks to the international postal system, every day is Christmas. Finally got my Christmas parcel from Aunty Jean, which made for a very festive March.

As did welcoming back my friend Harris, who returned from Italy with a plentiful supply of happiness!

Another friend, Chris, also returned to Kigali from Kenya and she and Harris took over the CasaKeza kitchen to make handmade pasta, which we scoffed with plenty of wine.

Me and Chris

Also had a relaxing girls' night out with friends Esther, Muireann, Helle and Solvegj. We went for pizza at Sole Luna, and Solvegj announced she is also leaving soon. Along with Lynette, that's three good friends gone in a couple of months. Such is the way of things. Nice flowers around the restaurant, though.

Had a goodbye meal with Solvegj a few days later, though hope to see her at a friend's party this weekend. We had tapas on the terrace at CasaKeza.

In other news, my two lovely wee boys, Gizmo and Little Thing (we haven't got a name for him yet), became neutered members of society last week. Worst part about owning cats, hate going through this, but so many unwanted kittens in the world - doing out bit not to create more.

When Gizmo and LT first met, they were about the same age but LT was bigger. After adopting, and feeding, Gizmo, he grew quickly and is now bigger than LT, but it was funny. Gizmo is much bigger but always had tiny cherries, whereas LT is tiny but had huge balls. Felt absolutely rotten about it, as they took several days to recover. It's miserable seeing your pets in pain, but they're completely back to normal now, bouncing about and killing local wildlife. 

I wasn't going to take in LT. He belonged to the little black cat I used to have. She had two kittens, then she disappeared and the other one died. My neighbour was feeding LT bread, but he kept appearing in my garden. Felt a bit sorry for him. Might try to rehome him once he gets a little less skittish.

On the way to the vet.
Our vet has also started selling biodegradable wood-shaving litter. Mine just use the garden, but it's a good idea. 3,000 with the bucket, then 1,000 per top up.

I consoled myself with an ice-cream smoothie and a giant fruit salad whilst I waited for the operation to finish.


Also had to buy a spare duvet from my friend's shop as poor Little Thing accidentally peed on Dana's bed after getting home. Dana is staying with me whilst working for the Centre for Disease Control, and she absolutely loves the cats. It's been a blessing that they were able to recover in her room. But it's the rainy season so bedding doesn't dry very quickly and duvets can take a couple of days.

But I was glad for the excuse to buy the duvet because it's gorgeous.

My landlady runs a fruit and veg shop next door. She has a friend, Mama Shukuru, who set up a sewing machine outside. She made my mosquito nets. I introduced Mama Shukuru to Shema, who runs a fashion shop at CasaKeza. Shema took her on, and I gave Mama Shukuru a long-term loan to buy a really good sewing machine. I didn't know until after I bought the duvet that this was one of the items Mama Shukuru had made for the shop. Shema is training her to make all sorts of nice stuff, which will bring in a much better wage for her family. The only weird thing I never get used to was that I wanted the contract to be witnessed by our neighbour, but instead (because it's the done thing) we had to get Mama Shukuru's husband to sign it. Seems like a bit of a throwback in a country which champions women's rights, especially when the machine will belong to her, and I've never even met him. 

Anyway. Sewing machine bought, dresses being made. All's good.

New Duvet

And, finally, another new development in Kigali - moto brollies have arrived. Look at the moto in this picture. It has an umbrella over it. They have these in Uganda, but I'd never seen one here. Then I saw two in a week, so it must be a thing now. Not sure how fast you can go before the umbrella blows off, but very cool idea in the rainy season.

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