Monday, September 21, 2009

Weekend in Gisenyi

This Monday was a national holiday, so I went to Gisenyi for the three day break.  Gisenyi is the largest city (~100,000 people) on Lake Kivu, which serves as the western border for most of Rwanda (see the annotated map on the right side of the page).  Its a pretty spectacular location given the volcanic mountain ranges that border it on both its Rwandan and DRC sides.  Unfortunately, it was overcast almost the entire weekend, so most of the photos aren't that great given the flat, grey light and my relative inexperience with the camera.

The above is the beachfront at the only four star hotel outside of Kigali (I stayed in one of the few moderate hotels still open near the DRC border).  Despite this one luxurious resort, it was pretty striking to see that so many of the large homes and compounds that border the lake are largely abandoned and in a state of decay.

On Monday morning, I stumbled upon a community center with various athletic leagues.  I met the guy who ran the basketball league, while also being a professor of microfinance at the local university.  I was able to see a couple of the guys on the junior national team play.  There was a 15 year old kid who was long, athletic, and really understood the game, and there was also a small point guard that could go and apparently had recently won a national three point shooting contest.

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