Had such a lovely brunch this morning. It was my friend's birthday so we met at Heaven in Kayovu as they do a really nice spread. Just a group of gals chewing the granola.
It was a slightly weird atmosphere as Rwanda declared its first coronavirus case yesterday. Apparently someone who flew from India and had been in the country for several days before testing positive. It possibly explains why all flights from India were cancelled recently. The person was working at UNICEF, so their office is now shut and being disinfected. But whilst we were sitting eating, a friend received a message that one of her colleagues had also tested positive, so it looks like this isn't a contained incident.
The government's response has been excellent so far, and there's hand sanitiser outside pretty much every public building and shopping centre.
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Most people are now working from home, but we haven't seen the panic buying that people have been doing in Europe. There has been a bit of increased shopping, but most people in the country don't have the income to bulk buy supplies, so it's never likely to get to that point. I was thinking of buying a few tinned goods, but I'm not about to go overboard. Though I do think that ugly will happen in any country if food supplies start to dwindle.
The only questionable move so far has been tour companies offering discounts on gorilla trekking. It's usually ridiculously expensive. I might be wrong, but I think the discount was a bid by the tourism board to boost tourism despite Covid-19, which seems like a really bad idea. You're not allowed to go if you have a cold because you can pass it on to them, so it seems like a bad time to encourage people to go up a mountain and sneeze on a gorilla. It would be awful if it turns out they can also catch Covid and, in an attempt to boost tourism, the gorilla population gets wiped out.
But this is really a blow for Rwanda as the country has put so much into marketing for tourism, even sponsoring Arsenal football club for a large amount of money. My friend runs a small tourism company and said that all his bookings for the next month have now cancelled. It's going to be really tough for a lot of people.
We called this morning The Last Brunch because we really aren't sure how things will be affected here over the next few weeks. Most people are talking about self-isolating and the government has banned large gatherings, discouraged groups from exercising together on car-free days, and looks set to introduce further measures.
In non-Covid related news, I had a lovely four-hour lunch with my friend Pieter last weekend, too. We went to The Hut and finished up with a spectacular dessert. All chocolate-brownie drizzley goodness.
Also had drinks on Friday at Sole Luna. They do a very special gin and tonic. It comes with a whole finger buffet going on.
Went home and admired this moth on the wall. Black and white with really delicate wings.
Talking of delicate wings, this gorgeous praying mantis flew into me the other day. Sat there a bit stunned for a moment. Don't worry, its wing wasn't broken. It popped it back into place when I put it in the hedge.
My yard has had a complete makeover the past week. There's been builders traipsing in and out, and two days of hammering on a new tin roof to protect it from all this rain we've been having.
One of the biggest changes was taking down a mango tree in the front garden. There were two, but one was infected, so to save the other we cut it down. The branches went to CasaKeza to use as firewood during their music nights, and my friend Désiré is a carpenter, so he's taking the large logs once the driveway is dry enough to roll a truck over.
Had to put a root barricade around this palm tree as it was starting to push through the garden wall.
Strange experience at the post office this week. I turned up to discover I had been cancelled. You're supposed to pay around £30 each January for a year's PO box subscription. I had paid. The computer said I'd paid. I had the receipt and everything. But turned up to find my padlock had been tied shut. When I cut it open with my key, the box was crammed full of ancient, undelivered letters. Like that film, Dead Letter Office. None of them were addressed to me, event though I've been waiting on parcels for over four months now. Ominous.
I had to go have a very lengthy discussion with someone who promised to clean the box and reinstate it. Though my friend Jo pointed out that you don't need a PO box to receive parcels, so why bother? She has a point. I'm not sure why I still subscribe. Nothing ever arrives nowadays.
|There were so many letters, I couldn't even pull them out.|
Consoled myself with a shopping trip to Sharma's. There are so many strange corners to that shop. In one of them, I found a cupcake tin and, in a moment of wild abandon, decided to try it out with my bucket oven. I made sweet plantain muffins. I took a wild guess at the ingredients: sugar, egg, flour, milk, baking powder - something like that - and plenty of cinnamon. They were absolutely delicious. I almost died of delight.