First Time to Leave Rwanda, First Time to Canoe & Camp

The training period of the four candidates for our office staff ended with an adventure in Uganda, joining our guest Alex from Washington on three days of activities.

Once we crossed the border, the first experience was a coffee tour, where we learned what it is like to work at a coffee farm. We all participated in processing the beans and got to taste the final result. Did you know that the shorter you roast them, the stronger the beans will be?

We went on to visit the Batwa “Pygmies” of Echuya Forest under the guidance of Owen. We were shown some of the herbs they used for medicine, how they hunted with bow and arrow, and their traditional dances. Being brought up to believe chameleons were poisonous, our Cedric was terrified by the little creature!

We ended the day at Edirisa on Lake Bunyonyi, a location that our staff helps manage remotely. The following morning we left in a canoe to visit some of the islands and peninsulas.

Hopping from island to island, we actually lived the canoe trekking itinerary we previously only read about. One of our destinations was Bwama, the largest island on Bunyonyi. We passed by a church and leprosy hospital built by Dr. Leonard Sharp.

After the final two-hour paddle we reached Mama Bena’s where we would spend the night and eat a fantastic (they had meat!) dinner by a campfire. We slept in tents, and for some of us this was the very first time. (Not only that, for two team members this was the first time to leave Rwanda!)

On our way back to Edirisa we paid a visit to the second tented homestay, on Tom’s island, and weaved bracelets with Mrs Annah. Before we left Bunyonyi, Maani helped Yvelise and Grace learn how to swim.

We stopped in Kabale to meet Kahiri of the SEE AFRICA BREATHE AFRICA podcast. Yvelise will be his co-host in the upcoming season, so this was a unique photo opportunity we could not miss — our hosts normally get together only on Zoom.

Back in Musanze, the office work began for real, but not without challenges. As the wiring of our house was completely remade, we had to carry our gear to the neighbouring hotel. Our Mac is quite portable but the gigantic screen not so much …

photos by Alex Wilson, Miha Logar and the trainee team


Comments are closed.