After wrapping up our 4 build days in Kageyo, it was time for us to pack up from the Akagera Game Lodge in the eastern edge of Rwanda and head back to Kigali for our last day on the ground. On our way back, we had the opportunity to take a “safari” in the team bus through the national park. While not exactly the safari accommodations you might see in a movie, the bus did get the job done. We had the opportunity to see many native African animals including giraffes, hippos, antelope, zebra, and many others!  We did have a hired guide to help us through the park.

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The ride through the park gave us the opportunity to see the great natural diversity that God has provided in Rwanda. Within just a few hours we traveled through highlands, brush country, open savanna, marshes and beautiful lakes. We could see Tanzania to our east almost the entire ride and were very close to Uganda in the north as we approached the exit to the park. It gave us perspective on how small, yet how diverse Rwanda is.

In true Rwandan style we gave our guide a ride home to Kayonza about an hour and a half away. We had the opportunity to hear a little of his story and take in more of the country as we had to take a different road back than we had taken in. I think we were all struck by the contrast of the villages in and around Kayonza in comparison to where we had worked in Kageyo.  The villages were quite poor by our standards, but Kageyo has significant progress to make to match their standard of living.

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We ended a ride home at the Mission House in Kigali about 5pm. Tired and dusty from the ride, most of the team showered and ate before heading to bed or catching up with family. We have a long day in Kigai tomorrow with a side trip to Bugasera in the morning, trip to the market in the afternoon then packing up for the 30 hour trip home. We only have one more night in Kigali and while we are all excited to see our family and friends at home, we are also actively discussing the opportunities to help more in Rwanda in years to come.

Written by Jay Andruk, KGP Team Member