A few weeks ago there was a hash run in a small town in
As we made our way down the winding roads through the beautiful African mountain villages I couldn’t keep my mind from the genocide that occurred in
Please read the wikipedia article before continuing if you are unfamiliar with the events of the time, of particular interest might be the role of the West, the UN and the US – you may remember US officials quibbling about the “definition” of genocide while hundreds of thousands of people were being brutally murdered based on their ethnic group or support of that ethnic group.
During the ride into
We spent one night in
The town that played host to the hash, Gisenyi, is right on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (the DRC – if you have read “America, the Textbook” you’ll remember the DRC from the section that showed the number of inherent lies the name of the country as the names changed – the country was formerly known as Zaire), a beautiful, mountain town perched over the lake. (Since the hash, it has been in African news because the President of the DRC is accusing Rwandan troops of crossing the border.) From the beach you can see some sort of platform on the horizon. When I inquired, I was told that there are major methane deposits under the lake, and that occasionally that methane bubbles up from the bottom of the lake. With somewhat less certainty, I was told that if someone was caught in the water by one of these lava-heated methane bubbles, they would almost certainly die.
The hash was, not surprisingly, a very hilly one, and started with a nice, steep climb up to a level with a great view over the lake. Taking in the view and running are not two things I can multitask, especially when the running path is as narrow as this one was so I slowed down to a walk and still tripped, nearly hurling myself over the edge of a mountain. Luckily I’m still here to type the tail. We ran through villages and large groves of banana trees. Children ran along with us, something that happens at most hashes, because of the novelty of a large group of people running through their community – probably something they’ll talk about for weeks.
Later on in the weekend I was talking with another hasher, an American woman who had been working there for a couple months. As we gathered at the beach, a mother dog and her puppy were playing near by. In Uganda this would not be an uncommon sight as stray dogs of all kinds are everywhere – in fact, as I’m typing this I can hear two or three barking in my neighborhood at 8:45 on a Sunday evening. The woman commented that she had previously only seen one other dog in
These are some Crested (crowned) Cranes that I saw in Rwanda - they are the national symbol of Uganda - even on the Ugandan flag, but to this day I haven't seen them here.