Our member Jörn plans to go to Rwanda next year to visit his friends. Below are his thoughts regarding the trip: 

Soon we will hopefully travel again to Rwanda, to the small village of Ruli! Our next trip is planned for July 2020, preparations are starting slowly.

After 11 years I will be among the lucky ones again and visit friends together with friends.

2009 was my first and only trip to Ruli. At that time I went there with Werner Eyßer and his wife Angelika as well as two other students from the Rwanda project. And that was an experience I never want to miss and I can only recommend that experience for everyone.

After arriving at the airport, we drove over dusty roads covered with deep holes, along the Niabarongo river and then up into the mountains. During the trip you had to drive over several narrow bridges, but all these problems didn’t pose a challenge for Werner, because he knows the track properly.

As soon as we arrived in Ruli, the word soon spread that the “Muzungus” were back and many people (especially children) came running and surrounded the car.

Our accommodations were simple – but sufficient and very clean. Everyone had their own bed and the bathroom nearly met German standards. You just had to get used to the fact that there was no running water from time to time and a water canister had to help in these situations. The eating room even had a television on which the latest music videos were played. Of course, there was also a poster of the German national team with Arne Friedrich, who also supported the Ikiraro project as a former student of the German partner school.

Salvator, our contact person in Ruli, as well as Patrick showed us the village and the surrounding area. So we quickly took part in a soccer game, where we happened to pass on one of our numerous walks. Of course, this was a very special experience for the locals. The “Muzungu” simply played football…. Also for me this was an experience of a special kind.

Something completely new was the school in Ruli. First we were shown the school and all modifications since the last visit. Then we went to the auditorium, where all students waited and welcomed us with music, dance and singing. Each of us got a ball, which we of course had to try out immediately in front of all pupils – and thus I played football with my classmates Sascha and Pascal in front of hundreds of Rwandan students. That was cheered with thunderous applause by the crowd. Great experience!

Two other highlights during our time in Rwanda were a visit to the Akagera National Park and a visit to Lake Kivu. Two locations you have to see yourself! On these trips I was lucky to share a room with Salvator, who always accompanied us. This led to many interesting conversations and a very close friendship. Salvator proudly showed me his new house, which he built for himself and his family.

At the end of our trip there was a big soccer tournament with a small party in the evening. We had brought a complete set of shirts from Germany, with which the Ruli team was equipped. I also tried to support the team, but as an amateur kicker and due to the mountain air I was happy that it was possible to change players as often as desired. Unfortunately we could not win that match, but of course the fun was most important – and that was guaranteed.

 

So I can only recommend anyone who is interested in the country, our projects in Ruli and the people there and who would like to get to know them better, to visit the country Rwanda and the small village Ruli.

Ich kann also nur jedem, der sich für das Land, unsere Projekte in Ruli und die Menschen dort interessiert und näher kennen lernen möchte, empfehlen, einmal das Land Ruanda und das kleine Dorf Ruli selbst zu besuchen und sich beeindrucken zu lassen.

To refresh all these great experiences, I can’t wait to travel back to Ruli, meet my friends there and see the latest progress directly at site.

If you are also interested – just join us.