And then we locked down Bujumbura

You guys will like us- coz we are nice, very nice. See, after a hectic first four months of this Rotary year, we figured we could do with some off- the hook routine in the Rotaract way and so, without telling the rest of you- our dear readers, we jokingly set a date to go burn down Bujumbura with some new and bad dance and fun moves from ‘outside countries’. Appointed date; 29/11/2013.

Oga looking for defaulters
Oga looking for defaulters
Setting off
Setting off

Cometh the day, cometh the hour and as we filtered into the now famous Rotaract highway that leads to the even better known Nyabugogo International Airport, the rain also figured that we could as well add a ‘cometh the rain’ part to the well known phrase. Of all things on earth though, it was certainly not going to rain on our parade- all 25 of us. People had gotten their passports ready (apart from the organizing chair who forgot his- mcheww) and swim suits at the ready- there wasn’t going to be any cancellation. At the appointed time, our hired shuttle hit the runway and off we disappeared into the darkness. What happened on the way stays there and so….fast forward to Bujumbura;

It was certainly a chilly night in the city proper but it was only because we were raining in Bujumbura and as soon as we were booked into our suites, we asked our hosts for some calorie burning formula and with them we headed straight for the dance floor and the roadside chicken wings and stuff that were on sale on the city streets. While sorting our hunger, we were regally treated to some mad fun- literally. It was two mad guys fighting over something- guess whatever it was was obviously ‘mad locked’ (coded into mad people’s language) but they were fighting and that was understandable until one of our hot gals finished her chicken thigh and disappeared towards the dance hall. It was then that we figured they were fighting for her affections…lol! She doesn’t even know it.

Arrivals- since 1759
Arrivals- since 1759
Hotness at the beach
Hotness at the beach

Anyway, back on the dance floor, we enjoyed the sights of Burundi guys staring at our girls and even attempting to bench some. The little distractions- such as queuing at the loos and huge, 1 kg cue balls at the pool tables made for good chit chat among those who couldn’t dance. We broke off in the morning and proceeded to our residence to freshen up and hit the beach….err get breakfast, lunch and hit the beach (delete the first ‘hit the beach’).

After freshening up, we set about looking for somewhere to eat (actually we had done the same with no success the previous night). It turned out to be over four hours of walking which led the team into blind spots such as a military barracks, a prison, the Bujumbura- Kigali highway, A university, the last night’s dance hall and yes- close to the much prohibited presidential residence before they successfully got transport and headed straight for the beach on empty stomachs and no sleep! No one was arrested enroute- thanks for asking. The frustrations on their faces could burn a million worms for dinner but the waters didn’t care about that. After all, if you bring anger into the water, you will drown and yet these guys loved their hungry lives.

Anyway, nothing dimmed the fun, there was lots of dancing, including a well choreographed dance routine from the Burundi Rotaractors (they killed our ‘outside countries’ dance moves). Some of the things we only see on T.V- i swear. These guys had mad routines which we aptly adapted to.

Organizing chair looking for his passport
Organizing chair looking for his passport
Doing dance in the water
Doing dance in the water

Later in the night we went somewhere downtown and finally got some food- locally known as pillau which we piled into our tummies before washing it down with drinks later on the dancefloor. That was no sleep in 2 days and we weren’t about to stop.

On the last day, we all got a little sleep, before getting up to ready ourselves for the beach and lunch (sorry, lunch and beach). We lackadaisically left our residence all packed up and headed to a hotel for lunch. By the time we were done with food, it was raining cats and dogs outside and this time, we weren’t going to be found hustling around in the rain looking for the direction to the beach. We were dressed in stunning outfits for crying out loud and besides, we were too satisfied to run. We cut our losses and waited for our shuttle to pick us up from there. In the meantime, we played hide and seek, dulu, and even took occasion figure out what Burundians love most, notably the Carina cars.

When the shuttle (no, not a Carina) arrived, our hosts saw us off and as we waved goodbye to Bujumbura, we couldn’t but feel even the birds would miss us. Real birds that fly that is.

So the team reached Kigali safely, while yours truly still writes to you from some bouncy bungalow in Bujumbura taking in the sights. I will head to Kigali too- soon. In the meantime, it’s massive thanks to our hosts for hosting us, all the members who traveled and helped the organizers with every little hitch. There were many obstacles along the way yet for every obstacle, the Rotaractors of Rwanda combined their forces and will power to take it away. They never once complained.

At the university, after getting lost
At the university, after getting lost
Mad swagg at the beach
Mad swagg at the beach

Readers, Rotaract is growing in Rwanda…we are getting bigger and better, getting loved and loving and with this power and strength, the horses will sing and frogs will lose their bellies. We will keep painting the region and every single contributor will forever be remembered. Bujumbura is still raining- the last drizzles that came with the Rotaract visit.

To the Rotaractors in Burundi, it’s most love from Rwanda. Keep it R.O.T.A.R.A.C.T.

RYLA RWANDA 2014 is coming up next- Wanna be a part of it?

Kind Rgds,

Peter King

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