Monday, 9 September 2019

Rwandan Rhapsody

It's been a really fun couple of weeks. Incredible to see Maia and her daughter again after so long. Sad she could only stay a week, but she left her partner Ian behind to work on the restaurant and we've been having a lot of fun. Very talented musician, so I got Dés and the gang to heft my piano over to CasaKeza, where it's been put to continuous use. Ian's played a couple of gigs on it and lots of people have been showing off their talent. It's had a lot of comments and everyone wants it to become a permanent feature. Perhaps once my old piano is rebuilt I'll rent it out to them.

Taking the Piano on Tour

He also played at Serena Hotel with the band we met at Cindy's club the week before.

Had some really good nights at CasaKeza, drinking and chatting with other talented people. Friday, me and Sameer crawled home at around 2 a.m. and they were still going. The piano comes home tomorrow as Ian's leaving, and I must admit, I really miss it - there's a piano-shaped hole in the room - but so amazing to hear it being played properly and entertaining so many people.


Also gave Taia a hand putting together a very impressive doll's house in the new playroom. Fully kitted out with bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens - and a horse!


Maia brought me an extremely beautiful tin of biscuits, embossed with a lovely 1920s lady. Haven't opened it yet as saving them for mum and Merrick's arrival, but it's a keeper of a box. Something to put hidden treasures in.

Talking of The Arrival - only three days before mum and Merrick board the plane and come to visit Rwanda for the first time. So excited. Can't wait to welcome them. Lots of preparations underway. Even had the sofas cleaned.


Not so easy during the rainy season. Had to keep moving the cushions in and out of the house to dry them. We've already had some impressive thunder storms and the temperature could even be described as 'nippy' on occasion, but all the parched grass is turning green again.

In other cat news, Poor Howl had a run-in with some razor wire. I thought he'd been attacked at first, but I'm fairly sure it's the security wire along the walls. Looked like a small wound at first, but when I got him down the vet's and Dr Arum removed his fur, it turned out to be fairly severe.  

He was a total boss, though. Usually, he's the first out the door when the vet comes to give vaccinations. The girls go up and get their jabs patiently, but he hides behind the couch. I was expecting a real struggle as he was in so much pain, but when we took the top off the cat box, he just buried his head against my arm and let her get on with it. Didn't try to run, didn't scratch. Even when we got home, he came to me to have it cleaned each morning and evening, even though it stung something rotten. He was an absolute champion. Thankfully it's all healing up very well. Clean wound, no infection. Almost gone.

I fits, I sits.

Talking of cats I'm proud of, my friend got transferred to Kibuye from Gisenyi, to help open a brand new tea plantation. As he said, he's always worked in gardens that are a hundred years old, so to get to manage the opening of a brand new garden is a moment in history. Made front-page news.


He had to take over just a couple of weeks before launch day as the previous guy had to go home for a funeral. So proud of what he's achieved, but it's been a little difficult as all the extra work, and having a housemate there, means we haven't seen much of each other.

Remedied that this weekend. He brought his housemate to Kigali and we went for a nice meal. Apparently the food out there isn't so good, so his housemate was kind enough to cook for him the other day. I'm grateful somebody's keeping him alive.

He finally got a break this weekend and I drove him and Ian down to Nyanza to visit the mwami palace, as neither of them had been before. It's one of my favourite attractions in Rwanda, and an easy enough day trip from Kigali. It's important to go and sing to the royal cows.

Newborn baby royal cows.

It was a really lovely day, and good to get out of Kigali for a minute. Also good to get some final driving practise in before my folks arrive. Very excited to see what they think of Rwanda. Nervous, as there's so much lined up and I wonder if it will all go to plan. Mum's already packed a haul of supplies - including a blender that crushes ice, so mojitos ahoy!

Even my chip-pan fat was happy about that.


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