Goma announced the arrive to East Africa, walk down the dust street I hear people charting in Ki-Swahili. This town which know little of peace is sort of cosmopolitan not only of tenth of international organizations and individual organizations but also for some East Africans such who run business.
The cross border day from Congo to Rwanda was like big welcoming, total contrary to what I had experience in Kinshasa. Here customs/ immigrations officers , policeman/woman, etc wanted together photos. And formalities were without questions or demand.
At Rwandese border post as always it was organized, clean and formal. So far I think this is most clean Africa country I have been. Rwanda didn’t only make the welcome home to East Africa but make the end of tedious visa and official harassment. As I cycled off Gisenyi towards south east along beautiful scenery of Lake Kivu on the gravel road named ‘Congo Nile Trail’. I remain with one challenge to cycle across the hills and valleys of western branch of Great Rift Valley. With the altitude varying from 1400 m to 2900 m of steep climb and descend it could be spirty breaking challenge but with the motivation of finishing line, enthusiastic children run with me 5 minutes up hill, favorable weather and most the reward of that panoramic view of crystal blue lake surrounded with thousands cultivated hills; definitely there was less physical pain.
In Kigali, four year since my last visit there is little changes, infrastructures have improved but all seem to be well planed. I’m here in the 20th memorial of genocide, it little bit political but i’m impressed by the way they confront their past and reality which is contrary to many other countries. President speech was moving also inspiring due it his character of insisting on the facts and responsibilities.
While Rwanda keep on reinforcing my hope and wish for African countries and the rest of developing world my quick visit to what could be twin sister, Burundi. Hope is still hang in that morning mist covering the hills.
I roll down to Tanzania border from Kigali, upon arriving at the border post is when I realized that I was crossing to the land which I was supposed to, probably strongly identify with. Unfortunately, all that prove to be another emotion among many other. Possibly is after long time on the road I develop mix feelings of arriving home. May be it was just being tired to the point of thinking that once I arrive in Tanzania I’ll bent down and kiss the ground. Well, the immigration office was quite fascinated and double stamp me with enthusiasm,lot of congratulation and welcoming.
Cycle through Kagera region towards Mwanza, I just realized how Tanzania is big country. In this rural areas of norther west the situation was kind of reminding me of vicious poverty of West Africa.
It was very nice when my friend Peter Gostelow cycled to meet me on the way to Mwanza. After unsuccessful attempt to get permit to cycle through Serengeti National Park. I will now do little bit of detour to Nairobi and enter Arusha. This will also give chance for those friends who want to come out and cycle to the finish line on June 7th.
Many thanks to Isamilo International School, Star Tv, Tigo Tanzania and many other friend for organize successful event in Mwanza.