Dear visitor, if you’re not here to read a whole bunch of words (the things with all theese letters in them that you have to combine in order to understand the sense). Just head over to the right side of your screen and look at some pictures.
Hey look it’s a subway station in Kampala. How great is that ?
This reminds me of a time I was walking through Bremen and I saw a man who had a Messenger Bag that said “Bremer U-Bahn” (“Bremen Subway”) which is funny because Brmene does not have a Subway.
In this last month there were a lot of things happening over the last month. In the few melancholicmoments that I have sometimes, when looking at the white walls, the brown curtains and tiles and the horrifying plastic table covers of the rather tastless little apartment of “Radius Guest Flats” I tend to forget all the great things that happened before.
Therefore I will use this blog entry as a way of reflecting upon all the good experiences that I had.
First of all a few words about Radius Guest Flats. I’ve been living here for about a month now, together with my lovely roommate Jared. Still, we have not exactly figured out what the place is all about. What we know for sure is that there is a nice Receptionist called Valence who comes to fix the occasional broken light bolb and who is quite helpful. In Addition to that, there is the guard, who always sleeps next to the gate. I feel bad every time I come home late and I have to wake him to get in. I mean it is his job to open up for me, but knowing how nice a good night’s sleep is I feel like a horrible person until I greet him with the little broken Kinyarwanda and he smiles back at me. What is and might remain a mystery forever is how this place is able to survive and generate income. Jared and I have not seen any other people besides us staying here, which does make sense because the neighbourhood of Kibagabaga is pretty much the farthest you can be from almost everything in Kigali. It basically consists of huge newly constructed ugly mansions with very high walls. In addition to the walls there are also a lot of guard dogs which really scared me when I walked home from Alessas place at night. They even have a cook that came over to play some guitar the other day. I wonder what he does all day not having any customers.
Anyway, this will hopefully be the last time I will mention Radius Guestflats as the people at Jared’s university finally made their minds up leading to a huge budget with which we will now find and pay rent for a house.
After we came back from our volcano adventure we were invited to the Residence of the German Ambassador to celebrate 25 years of German. The event fulfilled what the formal invitation had promised. Fancy people in suits pretending to be important while procrastinating, the German ambassador giving a pretentious speech about unity and all the outstanding developments and goals that Rwanda should work up to. (This is not a very precise description as I preffered drinking beer and talking to cool people then getting hypnotized by a monotonous speech). Still there were the expected waiters serving appetizers and there was a lot of good alkocol payed with German taxes, which made drinking feel even better. In the end the whole gathering was full of drunkards and volunteers who were objected by the high class community around the ambassodor. At this moment I would like to quote from Simon’s (another kulturweit volunteer) backpack: “We care ZERO”.
Besides from this fancy party I had a really nice evening with my saxophone and a local Raggae band. We played for almost 4 hours in a pretty nice bar, with nice people who were enjoying the music and dancing.
I have come to realize that the Rasta community is the biggest or maybe the only alternative scene in Kigali. They have a different view on things and what is really nice is their way of dancing. When going to a club in Rwanda than it seems like the only reason for people to dance is the hope of getting laid the same night. Also, people are in to grinding (women rubbing their buts against mens crotches) which can probably be a nice experience but I definetely object to it being a main part of dancing. What is nice is seing people moving all their body parts to the rythms of East African Music. When you dance with the Rastas it is quite different and you can simply see people jumping and moving around because they actually just enjoy dancing to the music.
The next weekend was all about the Stromae concert, which was a pretty neat experience. Most people I have met in Kigali said that the sound and the organization of concerts in Kigali is in many cases shitty but it was pretty good this time. After a minor dispute with a security guy over the contents of my backpack, which was quite stressful, I had a really good time and the usually rather quiet and calm Rwandans really partied it up.
I don’t really remember that much interesting or breathtaking events about the following days; the possible reasons for this being the exsessive consumption of Primus beers as well as the fact that I actually had work to do at the UNESCO, getting involved in the planification of a biosphere reserve in two rainforest segments in western Rwanda. I also started to meet with the school band that I am going to support in their practices and Jared started a Music club at his university. As the club has an incredible amount of interested people, it’s now happening 5 times a week and I will try to support him with that.
The hihglight of the month was definetely my trip to Kampala, Uganda on which I reflected in a musical creation. Have a listen:
Last weekend I went on a journey,
with high aspirations and 3 kids from Germany
We packed our backpacks and hurried to the station
Left my bed and mattress, the Jaguar Coach was waiting
As the Moto pushed it’s way through the streets of Kigali
I though of Nas and Damian Marley who where preaching Sawali
I was in the mood for exploring like safari
so for 5 days I had to leave my local rastafari
We had a bumpy ride over stones and dirtroads
Getting thrown in to the air was hurtful
Still banana beer was flowing signs of tiredness were showing
As we reached the border we just wanted to get it going.
Now the most important border crossing point from Uganda to Rwanda
is just a muddy bridge, it’s Welcome to the Jungle
As the fifth person asked us if we wanted to change money,
we just laughed it of damn those people were funny
After 12 hours tough travel, Sambusas and loud 90’s music
that was playing while the bus was moving
We got out in a light drizzle at 7o clock
My crew im Kampala solid as rock
If Kigali is village Kampala is a city
Kampala has Malls Kigali has Sawa City’s
Kigalis Motos are safe in Kampala they take 5 people,
when it comes to cheap beer it’s Primus vs. Eagle
Kampala is crowded still luscious and green
nice parks and trees would’ve never believed
as we were waling by the KFC in ACACIA Mall
we knew we would change night to day until the morrow.
Music and laughs Hip-Hop Reggae and beer,
Kabalagala the place to be.
We had the best fish in a long time,
got pulled to the wrong side of right,
dancing all night in the lights.