Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Kigali Kalling

Rwanda is such a fascinating country. There is much to be admired -- the road infrastructure is fantastic, cleanliness is a priority (e.g. plastic bags are banned), traffic rules are sensible and strictly enforced (e.g. bike helmets are mandatory), crime rate is very low, and economic growth is on the upswing. Its hard to believe that a mere 20 years ago this was the site of one of the world's worst human tragedies!

Work is what brought me to Kigali in July and I'm glad I came.  What I wasn't too happy about was my complete inability to kick jet lag for the week I was there. This meant operating in a zombie state for nearly all my meetings and conferences, though I managed to get through with a constant drip of coffee.

On the bright side, I managed to pursue my favorite travel activity -- running in the early morning hours to observe a city wake up in its natural cycle.

Dawn runs are the best
From a training perspective, the mile high elevation and steep terrain promised to challenge my running legs, but the random applause from locals and welcome company of school kids running alongside certainly made it a lot easier.  

The views were quite spectacular

Daily water collection

Bottles on a tree -- go figure!

Early sun in all its glory

I even managed to catch a flash mob of local dancers, mostly little kids, who put on quite a performance!

Some serious drum talent
And once all the conferencing was done, my work colleagues and I enjoyed some local hospitality and revelry offered up by our hosts. Of course, the coolest cat at the party decided to join our table and it was clear we were having a good time

Naturally, we had an internal bet to extricate his hat and turns out my colleagues have multiple talents -- needless to say I owe everyone at the table an expensive dinner!

Overall a fun fun trip and some good work output to boot. Hope to be back again soon!

No blog post is complete without a selfie

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