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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Onontracom bus trip

The big green "gift from Japan" Onontracom buses go to the more remote areas of Rwanda. I took one from my new site to IST in Kibuye. The front windshield gives the impression of eyes with a unibrow, with two big square windows and a long thin one above. My ears were filled with rattling of the lose door and lose ceiling panels and consistent hissing of the breaks as we went around the many curves, these loud and ominous sounds so loud I could barely here the engine. I could barely get the door open to get on when it pulled up in my village (it comes from Gisenyi towards Kibuye between 8:30 and 9:30; today it was 9:30). I counted 94 people (6 babies, others small children, but at least 75 adults) when I got on. This is on a vehicle smaller than your average city bus (even before the extra-long jointed fuel efficient kind rolled out, more circa 1970). As for scent, it was puke and armpits. It was worth it because it was much faster than goinv via Kigali, but mostly for beautiful glimpses of the lake and layers of gray mountains, the green farms and clay roof tiles and banana groves, the glimpses of lake Kivu with a heavy gray-black cloud settling over it, the cold blasts of lake air when the door was opened (by way of removing a loose metal rod from the latch) but perfectly cozy on the crowded bus.

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