12 June 2019
Today We got up really early like 4 am to go chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe National Park. The ride there was extremely long but pretty worth it. But then we had to ride to the forest which also took some time and I was wondering when does this end? When can I get out and stretch my legs? Well my questions were answered as we came to a stop and got out to meet with our guide. He gave us all walking sticks and I was really excited. Not really for the trekking but for the walking stick, I know I'm a child but it was nice to have. Once the trekking began it was smooth and easy we saw a few little monkeys but then it started to get real rough and hard. We had to go down slopes a lot of times and I kept sliding however I made sure there was a tree in front of me to stop me it I were to fall or slip. Others weren't to lucky. Some fell...HARD and some slipped...HARD but everyone was fine and kept pushing forward. I kept looking down which is something you shouldn't do when you above something but it motivated me to more faster and but also carefully. I was scared but I laughed so much at me slipping and almost falling and also laughing when others fell. Of course I made sure they were ok before I laughed but I'm glad I had more humor and than fear. We got to this one part of the forest where the chimps were and we were told the chimps eat the other little monkeys and I found that odd. It's like eating your cousin but their animals and they have to survive so eat away chimps! The chimpanzees were big, I've never seen a chimp in person only gorillas and apes and that's in a zoo. It was really cool to see. I didn't get any pictures of the chimps because I couldn't get a good shot of them but I got the little monkeys. When we were heading back it seemed like the journey was never going to end. I thought I was never going to reach the end. I was first of the three out and when I tell you I was so happy I wasn't with the others behind us because I would just sit there in the forest till someone picked me up and came and got me. That walk was deadly...for those like myself who don't walk for that long at those different altitudes. Thank God I made it out. I couldn't feel my legs after awhile and I knew they were moving I just couldn't feel them. The forest was beautiful. Maybe I would do it again but I would have to train and walk for about 3 hours at different inclines on a treadmill.
After coming from trekking we went to the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda an Ethnographic Museum. There we learned about the history of Rwanda and how people lived before technology. It was really nice to see actual pictures of those people back then and seeing the items they made by hand, which was everything. I love the little hut people can actually go inside and walk around in it, it was really nice. Really well made. It was a nice yurt. I'm not sure if that's what it was called but the basic structure of it was of a yurt. They also had a gift shop in the front before you get your tour of the museum and I bought a bowl and some coffee. In the picture below I have the bowl on my head with the bags of coffee inside it. When we were done, we came out and there were little monkeys everywhere. I guess they smelled the food scraps we threw away and came running. They were cute and got pretty close but not close enough for us to touch them but I was really excited to see them. They had babies with them strapped under them, it was so cute. I wish I could've stayed longer just to see the monkeys but we had to leave but I made sure to take pictures of them.
My name is Janae' Leonard and I'm a senior Theatre major at Buffalo State. Since I was a little girl I always dreamed of traveling and seeing the world. The one place where I dreamed of going was to Africa. The motherland, the place where life started. I want to go to Rwanda to experience different cultures, hear stories, and learn how to not only love myself but how to give and show love to others in different ways. I want to show people in Rwanda that they matter and their stories matter. It took me a while to understand that I mattered and that my story matters and so I want to show what I learned and express it through love. I plan to go to Rwanda open minded and open hearted. I want to take in as much as I can and bring it back home with me where I can share everything I learned and felt through story, song, acting and other mediums.