After the now common Bus ride from Kampala, including the mandatory border stops, road bumps and bad music that successfully prevented me from getting any wholesome sleep I am now back in Kigali laying in just another bed of a newly acquired room in a Guesthouse.
Just 12 hours ago I was hastily strolling (which is in this cased used as a euphemism) through the crowded centre of Kampala, looking for an ATM(I guess you could also say running). We had rationalized our money perfectly and arriving at the Jaguar Bus Station after an exhausting walk we were expecting to spend our perfectly rationalized 80000 Schillings on 2 Bus Tickets to Kigali. Stupidly, we had not considered the increased amount of travelers around the christmas break. Thus, we had to take the slightly more expensive Trinity busses, which lead me to the search of more money, which also was harder as planned because 4 of 5 ATM’s that I passed where Out of Order, leading to a huge line of people evolving around the one ATM in sight that was working.
Apart from this we had a very fun weekend, enjoying the clubs and the street food of Kampala. Street food is a thing that sadly does not exist to a large extend in Kigali, because the Milkman makes sure the streets are clean and free from any of those stupid common people who are poor and need to sell food on the streets. Also, eating on the streets is uncommon in Kigali. Supposedly as a sign of respect to everyone who cannot afford food all the time, which seems pathetic, considering that you can still sit outdoors at a restaurant and nobody cares if you are eating. Also, I feel that people in Kampala have a very different, more relaxed mindset. You will see merchants just sleeping by their stands on the market and big parts of the city are filled with people until the morning during almost anyway of the week.
Fleeing from the national referendum and my problems on Friday I now have to deal with reality again. What a bummer. With an estimated 98% the Rwandan population voted in favor of a change of the constitution, theoretically allowing President Kagame to stay in office beyond 2030 on Friday. Of course nobody knows where the exact numbers come from but it doesn’t really matter if it was the result of a fake in the results or of the brainwashing that takes place through newspapers, education and also by the censorship of anybody who has a critical opinion. If you are interested in any background information, here is the Human Rights Watch Report to read:
This is of course a one-sided view again, but still quite interesting to read.
I am not trying to deny progress that definitely occurred in this country during the last 20 years, but I definitely think that in the long run this country will need a pluralistic society with more than one party in power and more than one concept of life which is accepted and supported. I thought of this when dancing in another Reggae Bar in Kampala, where the crowd was not just the common Rastas but it seems like there were just normal people who seemed to like Reggae Music.
Getting back to my life in Kigali there have been some pleasant and also unpleasant events, First of all, I have finally started working on some projects at the One Love Music Club.
Afterwards, I tried myself as a DJ which worked out quite well.
Then, last Thursday One Love hosted the ‘Electric Jam’ freestyle session.
I put on some beats from my collection which where accompanied by my dear friend Konrad on his electric guitar and a few rappers and poets showed of their freestyle skills. In between, I played some of my songs with Grand Paz from Kampala (whose real name is Manfred).
His dad studied in Germany for a bit and when I was over at his moms place last week she showed me some pictures of her visit to Bremen in 1993. His younger siblings where quite amazed by a Muzungu cocking food on a charcoal stove.
The event even made it into the NewTimes newspaper. “I’m almost famous” :
3 weeks back I was spontaneously called up by my friends from “Strong Voice Reggae Band” to replace their guitar player with my saxophone. I am still trying to get the videos that were recorded there.
We will see what will happen at OneLove (give it a like on www.facebook.com/onelovemusic) in the next weeks. What I can say for sure is that it feels good to finally have something to do, because the amount of official UNESCO work is still very variable.
A few weeks back, after another pullback from Jared’s University regarding our housing I decided to search for my Big Brother Paul’s old house in Kaciyru, which turned out to be a success at first. We made a contract and everything was set for us to move in on Friday. But, the people living in the house for shorter are refusing to pay their debt and are more annoyingly refusing to move out. We are working on a plan to move on secretly and put all their stuff in the yard, because spending Christmas in a Guesthouse is definitely not what I had planned although I still have not really realized that it is almost Christmas.
Apart from that, Patrick the little thief still has not returned my camera nor my backpack, which sucks because I would like to show you some more pictures once in a while.