Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve

I didn’t want to be alone yesterday night, so I went to the disco near to my apartment, anticipating some celebration or special program. Within 5 min a foxy lady approached me offering her companion. In the next 10 sentences, she started urging me to go back to my apartment, touching my hand, my face, staring at me passionately… I wanted to have someone to chat with but her English was limited for “business” communication. I ignored her later and excused myself.

When I shifted to the dance floor, immediately 2 more ladies came to say hi… not so attractive. They invited me to dance, but I had no intention to move. They caught the signal and left me alone.

At 12:00 midnight, no countdown, no screaming, no artificial snowflake, no whistling, no Santa Claus, no mask, no caroling, no special program, not a bit of Christmas feel… what a disappointment. The whole disco had only countable foreigners… I left after 2 beers, it was showering.

Thursday, December 24, 2009



Wednesday, December 23, 2009


The recent management re-shuffling has caused some colleagues losing their jobs recently in the head office. Sad to learn a few known persons are on the retrenchment list. Ever since working in this project, I realize the cruelty of the office politics, had never experienced so tense as yet. I reckon the flame would spread to this site office sooner or later… see who would be the unlucky. I’m losing my faith and hope to this company gradually.

No Christmas Feel

No Christmas feel in the town - no Christmas songs blaring our loud, no decoration in the public... only a Christmas tree at the airport, a life size Santa Claus model shaking hips in front of the supermarket... very quiet... I don't feel the Christmas atmosphere.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Miss Rwanda

Last Friday, Sport and Culture Ministry of Rwanda re-organized the national beauty pageant after 17 years apart. TV live broadcasted the sensation. I managed to watch the climax at the end of the show.

My personal opinion is that most of the contestants are too thin, not far from famine look. They performed catwalk on the stage, but exaggeratedly swaying the hip and crossing their steps like modeling… kinda lacking of graceful look. It was awkward to see the crowned champion while waving to the audiences, she cupped her right hand turning 90 degree left and right. The image consultant should be spanked. The first three was each presented a big shopping bag with gifts sponsored by a local supermarket, imagine how it matched the elegant night gown?

Christmas Vacation

All colleagues have left Kigali for Christmas vacation, am now alone in the office monitoring and running the on-going projects. Have been quite stressful lately, and these additional works from the colleagues burden me additionally. Colleagues said I could leave for vacation together if I wish to, and leave the shits behind. I don’t know if they really understand what we are aiming for. The whole thing might be turned upside down if our projects are left unattended, it would ruin the efforts we have been working hardly on so far…

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Last week we found a new Chinese restaurant in town, newly opened in Oct. Service is good, foods is authentic and excellent, the best among the Chinese cuisine in Kigali though prices are slightly higher than the others. Billiard pool and KaraOK are for free.

We spent 3 dinners last week here. On Friday, after dinner we had an enjoyable KaraOK session, though English songs choices are limited. Has been years since my last KaraOK visit. We “screamed” like hell… had no idea if our voice chased off other diners. Anyway, it was good to find another entertainment.

Thursday, December 10, 2009



Wednesday, December 02, 2009



Volcanoes National Park

Last Saturday, with colleagues and friends, 6 of us had visited the Volcanoes National Park for the last mountain gorillas on earth. We spent a night at Gorillas-Volcanoes Hotel (USD 110), but the mosquitoes in the room kept me awake almost throughout the night.

At 7am, we reached the ORTPN office (Rwanda Office of Tourism and National Parks). Our guide Felix gave a brief introduction. We were told only 7 Gorilla groups were open to the tourists presently, ranged from 7 to 20 gorillas each. Max 8 tourists were allowed to visit per group per day. The one we were going to spent with named Umubano, comprised of 11 members including 2 babies.

After half an hour drive on the so-called “African massage” service road, we parked our cars at a village. The guide “advised” us to hire a watchman to look after our cars, this cost of EUR 5 was kind of blackmailing, I believed.

The trekking took approx 1.5hr. The sceneries were great, passing through green farms and villages, kids asking for money or shoes or pen. Guide explained the diets of the gorilla, and reminded us repeatedly of our behavior for safety and conservation sake.

Some parts of the trek were full of mud, but much better than my expectation. The final stretch was a little challenging when climbing up very steep slopes. The weather turned cloudy, light showering. All of us were over excited to see the Silverback (leader of the group) sitting just 3m from us. This lazy beast just sat idly crossing his arms with head bowing down. Shortly we spotted other members scattered around. Our cameras clicked non-stop. We had only a small place to stand, all of the photos were more less shot from the same view. Every single movement of the gorilla especially the baby's awkward move cheered us up immensely. We were only allowed to stay 1 hr with the gorilla, was said not to stress the beast too much.

With my resident visa, I paid USD 250 for the visit permit, otherwise USD 500 would be charged to the tourist. I think the price is OK, considering this was an opportunity of the life time.

Felix explained the enormous efforts were being carried out to protect these primates. The statistic shows more than 700 gorillas are living presently in Uganda and Rwanda… couldn’t remember what he said about Congo statistic. A certificate was given to each participant end of the trip.


For the 29th birthday today… Colleagues sang birthday song over long distance phone call; messages filled the Facebook; received a cake, gifts plus chunks of my favourite non-ordinary chocolates; had a great dinner at an Indian restaurant; followed by a brief drinking session at Mille-Collines Hotel.

Really appreciate the cheering moments with friends, at least had a great time before X’mas… I would be alone then in this city monitoring the projects.