With only a few days left in our trip we were back in Kigali for one final day until we went on safari. We all treated the Saint Paul Guesthouse with warm smiles accompanied by “Muraho’s” (hello’s). After spending the past week in the rural and suburban towns in Rwanda it was nice to be back in the busy capital city one more time.
Our morning started with us venturing to the market once more to finish finding souvenirs that we could bring back home to friends and family. Whether it was searching for more woven baskets, traditional Rwandan wooden masks, hair scrunchies or earrings the market contained everything one could possibly think of.
After the market we ate at a delicious Mexican/Rwandan fusion restaurant for lunch. On the outside was a giant colorful mural of the sun and the inside contained many different murals of animals and geometric designs. After a nice morning of shopping most of us could not wait to settle down and overlook the view of the city on top of the second story withy the company of a burrito or in my case a warm cheesy quesadilla. After cleaning our plates everyone decided to take have a photo opt in front of the outside mural right before we made our way to our next adventure for the day.
The most enjoyable part of the day for me was when we journeyed to a coffee shop in the city in order for us to take a group coffee workshop. We learned about the process of how beans are harvested, how to identify different coffee flavors and how to make coffee. Rwandans are known to export their coffee beans but in recent years the country is working towards importing their famous beans so that the locals can enjoy their countries delicious offerings. The coffee shop is unique since it is run by a large group of women who work together to help farm their beans and run the shop in Kigali. It was an incredibly joyful experience especially for a coffee lover. It was amusing to the groups of AFP volunteers that the coffee tasting had left most of us jittery and ready for dinner.
For one of our final dinners we ate at an Italian restaurant where we met up with an old Rwandan friend of ours, Eric who AFP used to coordinate with in the past. Most of enjoyed eating pizza and pasta while intermingling with each other over our new souvenirs and coffee tasting experience.
About the Author
Hi my name is Monique Newman and I am a junior pursuing a degree in Sociology at Pepperdine University. In my free time I enjoy spending most of it outdoors engaging in various hiking activities with friends, playing basketball or spending all day at the beach. The first time I heard of the Anne Frank Project was through a leadership conference that I attended while studying abroad in Switzerland during my second year of college. My desire to see the world, diving into new experiences and serving diverse communities is what made me want to embark on this new journey to Rwanda with SUNY Buffalo State College. One of the most important aspects about this trip is going in with an open mind and being willing to empathize. I believe this is essential in order to hear and be present while learning about people’s individual stories and life lessons as well as understanding the beauty of cultures that are different from my own.