Monday, November 1, 2010

A Little Adventure

Today I decided to go exploring around the area. From my home I can see across a large valley to the next hill where there is a large mound of rocks... in fact, this is the highest point in my district. So, I packed some water and my map of Rwanda and starting hiking. I arrived in the village of Musaza about two hours later, scrambled up the rocks and was astonished by the view. On one side was Rwanda. Facing the side there was Tanzania on my left and Burundi on my right, with the mighty Akagera River dividing the borders. I had no idea I was so close to Burundi! You could see miles upon miles upon miles from this point! I took some pictures, but they really don't do any justice, so I'll just post the map here to illustrate what I'm talking about!

To help you get oriented, the yellow lines demarcate the borders. Rwanda is on top, Tanzania bottom right, and Burundi bottom left. My home town, Nyakarambi, is just next door to the village of Kirehe, which is printed the side of the main road toward Tanzania. I hiked from Nyakarambi to the small triangle labeled 1834 (meters) and then to the town "Musaza" just to the left on the map. Beneath me in the deep valley was the Akagera River and in the distance I could see Lake Rweru, more than half of which lies in Burundi. To the north, I could pick out the tallest points, like Rukira, near Kibungo, which is about 35 km away. (Ctrl + CLICK on the picture for a larger view in another window).

The town of Musaza itself was mystical; a surreal feeling of being on top of the world, at the corner of three borders. It made me realize how small Rwanda is and how easy it is to travel around these parts of East Africa. If I just had a tent, I could easily be at the Burundian border in a day, Lake Rweru the next evening, and so on. Food is never a problem... Rwanda is a country of 10 million people and the size of Maryland (Burundi not too different). Wherever you go you will find people and tea shops and places to stock up on food and water. Hmm. It's just incredible! Now that school is finished, I hope to be able to do a lot more exploring!