April 25th was our 26th wedding anniversary. We decided to celebrate it over this weekend because May 1 is the national holiday (Labor Day) in Rwanda.
Kristin and I made a short trip to Lake Kivu, about two and a half hours drive to the West from Kigali. We stayed at the Bethanie Center, a retreat center for Presbyterian Denomination.
The trip was short but sweet. After we cheked in, we sat out on the balcony outside our room. The breeze was so smooth and comforting that it reminded me of the Hawaiian trade wind. Kris and I sat out there until it became dark, enjoying the breeze. We had a dinner at a nearby restaurant located at Moria Hill Resort.
In the morning, the sunrise was spectacular, as seen in the picture. The breeze was so caressing as usual. Ahhhh... We enjoyed our quiet time over the bible in such a wonderful morning breeze and in such a spectacular sunrise scenery. We prayed for the Lord's hand-holding with us for the rest of our life together. We could easily forget the fight we had at night against the mosquitos. Nobody likes bug bites, but over here people are far more sensitive to mosquito bites than anywhere else because of the concern over Malaria and Dengi that mosquitos are known to spread.
Even though we changed our plan to come down after one night, rather than two nights, we felt great about the short trip. Before we started driving back, we rode a boat to a tiny islet, called "Amahoro (Peace) Island and Camp." There, one family and a couple of workers were living to rent the camp sites for visitors and sell food and drinks. People visit there for a quiet retreat in the middle of the lake. There was only one animal on the island, a monkey. (the picture) I talked to the owner of the island and called him the Umuwami or King of the island. He laughed, slightly nodding. I said it because whoever visits the island has to pay RWF500, a little less than $1.00 as a duty. Well... now you know why I called him a king.
The Lake Kivu is a long lake from north to south. Its length is 55 miles (89 km) and its maximum width is 30 miles (48 km). Its catchment is 2,700 sq. miles (7,000 square km). Its average depth is 787 feet (240 m) and the maximum depth is 1,575 feet (480 m).
As I wrote earlier in my previous blogpost regarding the visit to Karongi Office, the Lake Kivu is sitting on a valley that is tearing apart so volcanic activities are suspected in the lake. Probably because of this volcanic activity, the Lake Kivu is known to contain 72 billion cubi yards (55 billion cubic meter) of methane gas stored at the depth of 300 meters.
This methane gas poses a great danger to the people living at the shore, estimated to be millions. Once the lake overturns, believed to occur every 1,000 years, the gas leaks out and creates a great hazard to people. A similar incident occurred in Cameroon, killing approximately 10,000 people. The Rwandan government is trying to extract the methane gas to generate power. Once successfully done, it could surge the country's power generation capacity by 20 times and could export the power to the neighboring countries. That would be great! May that happen!
On the way back, we picked up three young Janapense ladies who are volunteers from Japan. One was working in Kibuye and we dropped her in Kibuye town. Two were staying in Kigali so we have given them a ride all the way to Kigali. The two ladies we rode with were helping street children in Kigali and deaf children. (I will talk more about Korean volunteers and Japanese volunteers later.)
We were grateful to have completed the trip safely. It was our first long distance driving trip in Rwanda. - Jeffrey