Collection of Rwanda facts

by Sarah Luna

Tomorrow, I’m headed to Rwanda for six weeks of field work. I know that there are many people who love me and who want to me to be safe. I can’t tell you all how much this means to me. I will do my best to keep my updates regular.

I thought I’d start off by sharing a little of what I’ve learned about the country.

Rwanda is situated right below the equator in East Africa. This means that it will be summer when I arrive. The weather this week has been in the 80s. From what I’ve read, it is a very hilly country with rain forests and fertile valleys. The pictures my advisor brought back show a lush green landscape.

The native language is Kinyarwanda. Most of the people speak French as it was the national language for much of its history. English was just added to the official languages, and it is being taught in schools. Here is the national anthem sung in Kinyarwanda.

English translation

Rwanda, our beautiful and dear country
Adorned of hills, lakes and volcanoes
Motherland, would be always filled of happiness
Us all your children: Abanyarwanda
Let us sing your glare and proclaim your high facts
You, maternal bosom of us all
Would be admired forever, prosperous and cover of praises.Invaluable heritage, that God protects to you
You filled us priceless goods
Our common culture identifies us
Our single language unifies us
That our intelligence, our conscience and our forces
Fill you with varied riches
For an unceasingly renewed development.

Our valorous ancestors
Gave themselves bodies and souls
As far as making you a big nation
You overcame the colonial-imperialistic yoke
That has devastated Africa entirely
And has your joy of your sovereign independence
Acquired that constantly we will defend.

Maintain this cape, beloved Rwanda,
Standing, we commit for you
So that peace reigns countrywide
That you are free of all hindrance
That your determination hires progress
That you have excellent relations with all countries
And that finally your pride is worth your esteem.

The exchange rate is one US dollar = 603 Rwandan francs…this should get interesting.

If you’re curious about the culture, look at this website written by and for expats living in Kigali. I want to do some tourist things while I’m there like see the gorillas, or go to a wildlife park, or sit in the Devil’s Pool on Victoria Falls.

I’ll update as often as I can. The next time you hear from me, I’ll be on my way!