Who knew a 45 minute delay leaving Des Moines would result in a 24 hour delay in reaching Rwanda? Consensus of the Rwanda Trio (Ellen Strachota, Tracy Levine & muah) is Rwanda is more than worth the wait!
Rwiza = beautiful in Kinyarwandan, native language for most Rwandans. Without a doubt Rwanda is an amazing counry.
Stepping off the flight Sunday night in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, the smell of charcoal hits you full force. Charcoal is the primary cooking and heating fuel in Rwanda. Not really a good thing, as this pollutes the air & is a cause of deforestation.
So, lots of friends & family have wondered about how the three of us would survive in a country that is primarily known for the horrific genocide of 1994. There is so much more to Rwanda than its tumultuous & tragic past. You soon focus on the mesmerizing beauty around every turn & the engaging friendliness of every Rwandan you meet.
And, yes, we’re all safe. We’ve already got some great stories, but for now, these photos capture a bit of our first few days.
Art of Conservation founder Julie Ghrist’s dog Byiza loves to steal your chair.
Juvenile gorillas ( 4 – 7 years old) romp and somersault through the forest – never straying too far frrom the family.
Park warden’s rule: stay 7 meters away from the gorillas. We obeyed this; the gorillas don’t appear to know where the line is.
- Blackback eating fire ants. I had plenty of fire ants biting my ankles & legs. This guy could have plucked his next meal from me. Nasty little buggers.
Ellen Strachota & our new friend Carla from Biondi Beach, [yep; she’s an awesome Aussie] demo a little courage here. This Kwitonda Family mountain gorilla seemed a lot less interested in us than we were in him.
It was an incredible trek up into the Gahinga Mountain foothills to spend a little quality time with the Kwitonda Family of mountain gorillas.
Art of Conservation founder, Julie Ghrist, me & Tracy Levine in Volcanoes National Park – home to approximately 400 mountain gorillas.