While this weekend wasn’t a weekend where we traveled crazy distances for a weekend of adventure, we still managed to have a good time with a trip to Pili Pili on Saturday and a trip to Akagera National Park on Sunday. For those of you who may not know, we moved out of our homestay on Friday into a house in Kimihurura in Kigali, where we will be cat-sitting for a UNHCR worker named Martina. Her cat’s name is Fatty and we have had a great time so far, though we are looking forward to spending more time there as we settle into our last two weeks.

Fatty the cat in our new home!

We both stayed at our homestay for our last night. Food was delicious and it was wonderful to spend time with the family before heading into the city. We will be hosting a dinner at the farm for them and for the fellows that live on the farm next week.

In the morning Caitlin was up early to meet our friend Yves for Umuganda. Umuganda is a service morning on the last Saturday of every month from 8-11 a.m. Across all of Rwanda, people wake up early and participate in a variety of community service in their communities, whether it is farming for older members, building a house for a friend, or working on the roads that run through their villages. Caitlin and Yves joined Impact Hub Kigali for a morning of mural painting, a lower-key version of Umuganda, but still very fun. (Pictures will be added once Impact Hub posts them!). Ryan hung out with Naomi and our family for breakfast and then continued on to the farm, where she worked on her DIS essays. Eventually, we met up at our new digs in Kigali, and caught motos to Pili Pili, a bar/pool/restaurant/lounge with amazing views of Kigali. Caitlin stayed there and hung out with Jared and Erin while watching a couple of soccer games, but Ryan ventured to Havana to meet her friend Emma, who we were going to Akagera with the next day.

View from Pili Pili featuring a Tusker Lager (Kenyan beer)

We were up bright and early for our day at Akagera National Park, a 120,000 km national park that is home to a variety of wild life. It was one of the first protected park lands in Africa. We made the two and a half hour trip there, trekked six hours around the park where we saw a variety of wildlife. We saw: impala, baboons, an elephant (that charged at the car…), zebras, giraffes, water buck, water buffalo, hippos, and LIONS! It was super exciting to see the lions, because they don’t normally come out during the day. Our guide said we were the closest she’s ever been to the lions, and that we were her first group in two years to see all of the animals. Lucky day to say the least!

Zebras! He was uncooperative in our photo taking…

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