Sus' BIG TRIP travel blog

orphans rwanda


























orphanage rwanda boy in the blue is a camera wizz definately the...






rwandan countryside


loving the camera

volcanos and mist





ball girl




samuel with his favourite toy!




LEFT diane and glory RIGHT



























some of my group in a matatu











volcanoes in the mist










ruhengeri and the volcanos






dusk ruhengeri

the view from our camp




hiliary steph matt eileen aaron anne jo

the trek to the goriila mzungu in the mist


weekly community genocide trials ruhengeri





vesh cooking in uganda lake buyoni



some of the truckers


the slopes of vovlcano where the gorillas live in the mist

the first hill is the congo the gorrilas were in the valley...







view from our camp

Hey sorry have not emailed for soooo long absolutely no email access and when there was there was a power cut or all phones were out. sooo much has happened so will try and fill you in. When we arrived in rwnada out first night was spent ina church community hall in the town of ruhengeri on the border with the congo. it has the most spectacular backdrop of 3 volcanos which tower above the valley at 3000+ meters. when we arrived it was pouring with rain it is the start of the rainy season in rwanda and so we had to try to cook under our awning which comes off the roof of the truck. unfortunately in the process of trying to get this thing off the roof in the pouring rain one for our crew jas cut his fingers really badly and while he was doing that one of the passengers an 60 + yr old from oz called colleen fell over and broke her arm so i was practically setting up a field hospital by the time they had both finished. we had to go to hopsital in ruhengeri to get them sorted out. wow that as an experience and a half. they have nothing and i mean nothing here. there was one doctor for the whole hospital which was quite large who covered everything from paeds, obsterics, itu if you can call it that, does all the surgery. when we got there he had just done an amputation of a leg and the patient was wheeled out infront of us with not even a saline drip cos he did not have any. they had to stich up jas fingers with no anaesthetic as they did not have any!!!!!. everything as quite clean though and i was very impressed with the staff there but my god what a awful place to be a patient or to work. there we patients lying on beds with no pillows on blankets brought from home and there were repeated power cuts and the generator took 5 mins to kick in everytime so you were sitting in the dark with just the sound of groaning patients with no pain relief as there is none. quite an experience really made me think.

the next day we went to visit the orphanage run by the church we were staying in was not sure if i really wanted to go considering the previous night thought it would be very depressing but i was wrong. it was run by a nun who looked after 50 kids orphaned by the genocide and hiv. she was an amazing woman had obviously so much love for these kids and looked after them extreamly well. they all went to school til they were 18 very unusual for a poor rwandan they had just built a new orphanage which was very well equipt and the kids had a great standard of living compared to villagers who lived around them. the kids were lovely and spoke good english or french so we played games and painting etc with them. great fun.

the next day we had to wake up st 4.30 am to go gorilla trekking. this was one of the most fantastic experiences of my life. we trekked in a group of 7 for 2 hours up the very steap sides of the volcano it was very hard work cos of the altitude and heat and we had to hack our way through the forest. we already knew where the gorillas were as they are followed by guards all the time to make sure they are not poached. we were following a group called Amahoro which means peace in the local language. They were given this name because the silver back had a very placid nature which i was relieved about as some of our group had trekked the previous day and had been charged by a different silver back which sounded terrifying no harm came to them he was just mock charging them by a 200kg king kong screaming and charging at you did not sound too pleasant. we were very luck because we trekked the biggest group of gorillas in the national park it had 16 members 2 silver backs one dominant and a second one who had lost his hand in a animal trap as a juvenile so was never going to be a threat. there were 2 babies one only 2 months the other 4 months. when we neared the gorillas we had to leave all our bags and went with 2 guides to where they were feeding. fortunately they were in a clearing in the forest overlooking the mountains of Congo about 1/2km away. we had 6 armed guards with us from the rwandan army we were told this was to protect us from the bufallo who live in the forest but i am sure it had more to do with poachers and bandits from the congo!!!! the gorillas ususally are seen in the forest so are difficult to get photos of but i have the most amazing photos. we got so close within 1 meter we tried to keep moving away but they come up to you. the silver back at one point got up and walked straight towards me and when he got right infront of me he turned and walked over to some brambles and started eating the fruits my heart was in my mouth i can tell you. he was a magnificent animal but i would not to mess with him. i just had to stand there and let him keep coming closer and closer as if a silverback charges you have to stand still or he will chase you. the babies were sooooooooooooooooooooooooo cute the youngest 2mth old had a fabulous afro. there is one young male about 5 yrs old who love playing with mzungu we were all standing together and he rushed past us and smacked my friend on the bum swung off another persons rucksack and then hit me on my leg and then proceeded to do a forward roll on some grass infront of us. if i had not seen it with my own eyes i would not have believed it. it did not hurt just like a tap with the flat of his hand. we spent a magical hour with the gorillas watching them feed and play it went so quickly. then we headed back down the volcano less out of breath this time. what an amazing day..............................

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