The old Rwandan saying goes like this: ‘After God had created the world, He went back to Rwanda to rest.’ Personally, I suspect He created this little speck of land before everything else, as a motivation for getting His work done. Kind of like when you start off the day preparing raspberry jelly so that you have something to look forward to when you get home from work.
The Soul Connection
And here we are, all blessed with the fruits of His labor. Now, I do realize this might be difficult to grasp, but if you have ever wondered why you are so strangely attached to this place, an explanation will shortly follow. Well, it’s more of a guess to be honest, though an educated one. As it happens, I have reason to believe that after God created Earth, He not only went to Rwanda for some R & R; he came to create the original souls of the first human beings.
As we all know, the first soul matter that was created is the same matter that is around today. Souls are created by the same stuff as fairy dust and moonlight, and even if you split it up a thousand times, there is still enough to go around. All people on Earth have a soul, and it all came from the first soul matter God created all those years ago in Rwanda.
Consequently, all souls will feel some sense of belonging here. You should not be alarmed, therefore, if you find yourself unwilling to ever leave, or if you get uncontrollable urges to throw yourself to the ground and kiss it. It’s just your soul craving for intimacy with the deity source of fairy dust and moonlight. Duh… !
Besides the ever-present magical surge of love that this city arouses within the mere mortal shells we call bodies, there are obviously plenty other reasons why Kigali truly is paradise.
The Magic of Motos
Cars are nice, sure, but even if you’re not cruising around in a giant SUV, you still have a pretty good transportation deal here in Kigali. Mototaxis give you instant transport from wherever to wherever. Whenever. A trip rarely costs more than Rwf 1,000, and those MTN (or Tigo)-vested fellas are always abundant. Just remember to bring a shawl or something to cover your head before you place the oily helmet on your head.
The Wonderful Weather
The Kigali climate is perfect. Yes, it rains, but rainstorms can be nice. They can get you stuck in places where all you can eat is cake and African tea, or it can get you trapped under a bus shelter where you get to spend time with a bunch of adorable children. Perhaps a rainstorm hits just in time for you to bring out the candles and watch a movie? And when it does rain, the sun is not far away, and oh how Kigali warms the heart in the sunlight! If ever you feel low, go for a moto ride around Kigali between 17 and 18. Seriously. The light is really nice at that time when the sun is shining.
People here are nice (I’ll leave it to you to decide whether you want to pronounce that as ‘nice’ or ‘niiiiiice!’). Not that one should put all people in one box here, but most Rwandans are calm and kind and loving and warm and helpful and understanding and respectful. Plus the expat community here is pretty friendly and welcoming and tend to stay for longer periods. Apart from muzungu season, most Kigali expats are stable and calm. Yeah, and I’m gonna leave it at that.
Aaaaah Avocados and Oooooh Onions!
You might laugh at this, but dude, until you’ve tasted the fruits of this land, you just wouldn’t understand. The sweet, creamy avocados are like nothing else I’ve ever tasted, and the onions here can be eaten as apples. Perhaps there’s sugar in the soil, or perhaps it’s just residue from the fairy dust… all I can say for sure is that if fruit-marriages were legal, I’d be Mrs. Inga Avocado before you could slurp the onions off of your goat brochette!
The Simple Life
There are only a handful of decent coffee shops to choose from in town when deciding where to get your daily fill of African Tea or coffee. For your evening apéro, you have about the same amount of choice, and when dining out, there’s pretty much one good restaurant of each cuisine. During the weekend, there really isn’t anywhere to go except for house parties and a handful of bars. And while we all wait for the bowling alley to open in the Kigali City Tower, all we can do to entertain ourselves is conversation, dinner parties, visits to the pool, playing sports and going for walks.
For a simple soul, this is good news. The lack of leisure activities encourages close friendships and meaningful relationships. The tranquil atmosphere removes stress from your life, and the splendid green hills surrounding you are a constant reminder that despite machines and technology, the canvas beneath us is still the magnificent Earth. I’m gonna make myself cry now. It’s all just too beautiful.
For you numerologists out there, there is further proof that Kigali truly is paradise. If delicious fruit, stress free days, soul-warming surroundings and people aren’t enough to convince you, then take a look at this:
If we denote each letter in the word ‘KIGALI’ with its corresponding number in the alphabet, we would get this numerical row: 11-9-7-1-12-9. For trained numerologist eyes, it’s already evident that KIGALI is filled with positive energy; the deity numbers of 7,9 and 11 are clear indicators of this. When we add these numbers up we get 49, which is a unique prime number (following Einstein’s equation of 4n + 1) and— more importantly— the result of the multiplication 7 x 7 (!!!).
We know that the liberation day is celebrated in July, the 7th month of the year. The country of Rwanda also gained its independence the first day of July, so plenty of 7-ish power around. This evident presence of the number 7 is an obvious sign of the angelic perfection of Kigali. The number 7 is what we call a perfect nature-number (7 days in the week, 7 colors of the rainbow) just like Kigali is a perfect place on Earth. As we all know, 777 is the number of God and the angels of Heaven, which shouldn’t be too shocking seeing as Kigali probably IS paradise…
Moving Green Men
So if the law on fruit marriages doesn’t come through, I’d love to marry the green man inside one of the new hyper-modern count-down traffic lights. He looks passionate and determined. And we’d have awesome mint-green babies who’d win every speed walk competition, which is always a plus in my book.
Ok… I’m not really sure what’s going on up there re fairy dust, marrying fruit and the number seven. This is Kirsty now and I’ve got a few (slightly less… um… Inga-ish) reasons of my own to add:
Kigali feels like one of the safest places I’ve ever been. I feel a lot safer walking down the street here than I do in my hometown. In fact, I don’t think I’d even walk around alone at night in Canada. True, the guys with machine guns on the corners are slightly intimidating but after awhile they just sort of blend in with the scenery. So much so that I often find myself scared to death when I nearly walk into them.
Kigali has restaurants offering up any kind of food you could imagine but I most enjoy eating out at the various local bars scattered all over the city. Rememra is a great spot for aka benz (pork), you can get delicious plates of roasted goat in lots of places, and Nyamirambo has a lot of lively local bars with good food (giant fish and BBQ chickens are popular here) and questionable entertainment. They’re a great place to come for a cheap, fun, yummy night out.
Lots of Opportunity
I feel like this is an exciting time to be in Kigali. It seems like there are a lot of business opportunities here and it’s exciting to see what new businesses will be popping up next. Even the expats are at it and Mr. Chips and the Food & Stuff gang have proven that it’s possible to open a successful business in Kigali. So if you have a good idea (Mexican restaurant, anyone…?) and a bit of cash, Kigali seems like a great spot to be.