Throughout my time in Rwanda, I have made short trips to visit friends all over the country. I have also made very long trips, including the one that I just returned from. I had the amazing opportunity to visit my family for the Christmas and New Years holiday. All of these journeys have led to me to learn more about the extent of travel of the average Rwandan.
I have learned that Rwandan travel is very limited. The main variable affecting people’s ability to travel is, of course, money. My host mom Jacky, travels to Rwamagana, a 15-30 minute bus ride, a few times a week. My host dad, Shema makes the trip to Rwamagana to preach a few Sunday’s a month. Shema’s sibilings and mother come to visit a few times a month, and when they do, they will stay for 5-10 days at a time. My host brothers Clever and Derrick wanted me to buy them an airplane so that they could go to Kigali, a 2 hour bus ride from our home.
Here are a list of how much I normally pay for transportation to different places:
- Bus Ride from Kayonza to Kigali: 1550 RWF (about $1.50)
- Moto from my house to the coffee shop that I get internet at: 400 RWF (about $0.40)
- Moto from Janelle’s house to Remera bus park: 500 RWF (about $0.40)
- Flight from Rwanda to the United States: 2,000,000 RWF ($2,000.00)
All of these rates are accessible to me through one means or another. All of these rates can be a sacrifice for my family here in Rwanda. Spending time in the States with my family was a blessing, and I still am humbled by how much privilege it holds. My host family has family that lives in Tanzania, and that is why they are able to travel there. Shema has the opportunity to travel because of his involvement in the church. We may not be taking family vacations or traveling for holiday, but time spent with them is always a blessing. You don’t need to trek the world to discover its secrets. The adventure continues, and I am learning so much more about the world by staying right here in Kayonza.