Friday, October 2, 2009

The Volcano Bus: from Kigali to Butare

Thursday, Oct 1 - a long day continues...

Ditch repair on the road to Butare - the roads are in amazing condition.

The bus that arrives for us at the Milles Collines, for the trip to Butare.

A work gang of prisoners on the road to Butare.

Arrival at the Motel de Mont Huye in Butare

At a hardware store in Butare - a long translated negotiation to buy supplies for home-made footlights.

Rick at the Mont Huye - a beautiful place

1) We get caffeine at Bourbon Coffee in Kigali.

2) We get in the Volcano Bus. Seriously. Volcano. Gets in. The Volcano Bus.

3) We are driven south to Butare. About 3 hours. When they say Rwanda is the land of a thousand hills, they underestimate. It is rolling, beautiful, crowded, cultivated land. People work with hand tools. The roads are in amazing shape. Drivers are much less crazy than in Uganda, or Montreal. We see farmers, students, women with bundles on their heads, prisoners in work gangs wearing bright orange jumpsuits. We see the evidence of both genocide, and recovery. It is a big drive.

4) We arrive in Butare, in Huye district. Much bigger than we thought. The Hotel de Mont Huye is lovely.

5) We meet Gloria Magambo - who will become our guide and organizer. Gloria works for the festival, and is Help incarnate. She quickly becomes our hero. We visit a hardware store to buy wire, bulbs, and fixins for the homemade footlights we will need for the Kigali shows (we will be performing in a restaurant). We choose a different venue to do the show in in Butare - on the stage of the large Main Auditorium at the National University of Rwanda (a very beautiful campus). We begin to make plans for the lighting hang, sound and riser installation.

6) In a cab back from the theatre, I have my first conversation about the genocide. Gloria grew up in Uganda, exiled. She was a child when the genocide began. Her father escaped with her. They walked to Uganda. She is now the only relative her father has left. Rick asked her where she feels her home is. Nowhere, she says. In Uganda, she was called a foreigner. In Rwanda, she speaks the native language only haltingly. She is caught between places.

But she is radiant, and very good at her job.


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    Feel free to announce your blog on mine.

    - Peter Ingestad, Sweden

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