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 Post subject: Have fun Kris
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:46 pm 
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Kris is off on a conservation 'holiday' to Rwanda tomorrow.

Have a great trip Kris, get lots of pics and stay safe.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:01 pm 
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Thanks Mel. I am very excited as you can imagine. If anyone is interested this is where I am going http://www.rwandaecotours.com/conservat ... ects.shtml


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:07 pm 
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Wow Kris enjoy. How long are you going for?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:11 pm 
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Thanks Gloria, I will be away for one month.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:49 pm 
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Kris, I thought you were off on your travels today???

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:50 pm 
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Going to the airport now. Bye…..


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:51 pm 
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Byeee enjoy.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:02 am 
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Hi everyone. I am having a blast in Rwanda!! I have been staying in a village at the Parc National des Volcans (about one hour from Congo and Uganda), at the moment I am in Rwanda's capital city Kigali and my Boss Edwin is taking me to Uganda for about four days, I think we leave tomorrow. Next week I am going Gorilla trekking, very excited about that, think it could be the highlight of my holiday!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:01 am 
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Good to hear from you Kris. I wondered how it was going. Enjoy yourself!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 1:13 pm 
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You are sooooo lucky Kris, I will envy you next week, love gorillas, hope you see loads, silverbacks are my fav's. Take care. :wink: Stephanie.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 2:45 pm 
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We expect a full report, pictures, the lot, when you get back.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 2:54 pm 
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I think you might have to join facebook to view the pictures Gloria. Unless Kris is able to upload them to one of my websites and provide a link to there. I'll have a word with him when he is back.

I wonder what he has to do? What the trip actually involves? It's a shame he doesn't have a regular internet connection while he is there, we could have got him to do us a daily blog.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:31 pm 
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Hi all, I am in the Rwanda Eco tours office trying to create a pamphlet for Ibiyiwacu village I am volunteering at. Like I said before the, the village is located in the Parc National des Volcans, near the Congo and Ugandan borders. The area is beautiful, it’s called the land of one thousand hills, and believe me it is!! Behind the hills are several dormant volcanoes which make it more spectacular!! The village itself is small in comparison to the people that benefit from its income. The majority of Rwandan’s earn less than .50p per day, but in Ibiyiwacu village some earn even less than that. Most of the inhabitants used to live in the forest, and some of these were gorilla / other game poachers. Because the people were poachers they are unskilled, and Edwin at Rwanda Eco Tours has invested his own money to build a cultural village which includes a King’s house and two smaller village houses which the more adventurous tourist can stay in. If you don’t want to stay in the village you can just visit and experience some of the villages activities, grinding corn, shooting arrows, visit a medicine man and some local caves, watch the local dancers and visit the village school, there are many things you can do and the money spent goes directly to the village people, a worthwhile cause I must say.

The people in the village are awesome! The children call me (muzungu) white man, and the village elders call me the man who cares, as it seems I am the only tourist who has actually spent any time living amongst them. Most of my time in the village has been spent teaching English, I brought some wall charts of the phonetic alphabet and simple addition. I thought they would be useful for the children but it turns out I am teaching a small class of 20 – 30 year olds. You should hear them reciting the alphabet, they get the letters G and J mixed up and the letter X they have trouble with, pronouncing it as exies. They will have to practice that one!!

Because the cultural village is in its infancy (we don’t have signs or pamphlets) the income generated is small. The people buy Irish potatoes from the area (50 kg) and carry them 15 km on their heads to town and sell them at a small profit of 0.2 pence per kg, crazy hey!!

Anyhow, I had better get back to making my pamphlet!! If anyone is interested in doing a gorilla trek of their own, whatever you do don’t organize it from the UK, you will get ripped off as both Uganda and Rwanda charge US$ 500 , still expensive but not so bad now that the US$ is low!!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:37 pm 
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Kris, you have my upmost admiration for what you are doing. What sort of things are you eating? It must be like being in Briercliffe 100's of years ago having to travel miles to earn a pittance. Respect.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:57 pm 
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Gloria wrote:
Kris, you have my upmost admiration for what you are doing. What sort of things are you eating? It must be like being in Briercliffe 100's of years ago having to travel miles to earn a pittance. Respect.


Rwanda is behind even that of Briercliffe 100 years ago. The average life expectancy is 45 years old I am told. The medicine man is 48 years but looks at least 70. The children on the other hand have malnutrition, swollen bellies and look much younger than their years. The ten year olds in school look like they are about 5 or 6 and have stunted growth. People in the village eat Irish potatoes, red kidney beans, corn and drink milk. I eat with the community at lunch but cannot function on their food so have been eating in the hotel restaurant where the gorilla trekkers stay. I invited four members of the community for dinner two nights ago (US$10 a plate) and I swear they had never seen so much food, but they polished their plates and ate the bread and everything else available!!

As I am sure many of you will remember, Rwanda had genocide in 1994, everyone here has lost family members but most don’t like to talk about it. One of the ladies (Betty) in the village had 16 siblings but today she is one of three, hard to imagine hey.

Rwanda was a Belgian colony and the infrastructure in non existent. Apparently it is the same throughout Africa, where ever the French and Belgians ruled they took what they wanted and left no infrastructure in return. Britain on the other hand build roads, railways, great cities and enforced a good work ethic, this is what the Rwandans tell me so at least we can be proud of that fact!!


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