September 19, 2016

new friends

after a less than uplifting few days in Kigali head out for another obscenely expensive wildlife experience. the mountain gorillas.  seriously, i had to see two shares of fb to fund this.

i'd arranged to visit the gorillas through an american expat in Tanzania who had tour connections in Rwanda so they were doing the best to accommodate me on the 'friend' rate so i'd expected to do some ride shares, etc.  the day before they pick me up they said i'd be a bit on my own.

so, after my visit to the memorial and reading the book, which detailed the UN extraction of expats, thoughts of that horrible time were lingering in my subconscious.  i'd already had detailed discussions with my friend living in Kigali about her exit strategies should the political situation deteriorate quickly in country [which people do believe could happen].  

then, the guide called to say he was delayed because of road blocks.  it's Africa and roadblocks [traffic delays] are common if there are dignitaries driving around so it didn't register as a problem.  it was when the guide was walking up the driveway with three white guys who looked like SEALs that mind starts to race.  roadblocks?  unexpected white guys?  what is going on?

fortunately, instead of an extraction team, i meet a very hard group of Australians who share a ride north from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park.  i was happy for the company and these guys reminded me why everyone loves Australians.  we stayed at the hotel and shared a few meals, lots of laughs and some world views.

i get asked all the time if it's difficult or lonely to travel solo and i laugh at this.  i meet so many interesting people when i'm my own and have developed friendships all over the world.  it turns out the Australians are in the mountains of Rwanda training for a climb on Kilimanjaro so they will be on my return flight to Tanzania and so I'll see them again.

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