Monday, January 31, 2011

A Weekend Getaway ...

Kristin and I had a short weekend getaway to Ruhengeri and Rubavu over January 29th to 31st.

[A Lake Kivu beach scene]

Ruhengeri is the capital town of Musanze District, a 2-hour drive from Kigali. There we had a fellowship with Dr. and Mrs. Youngmo Kim. He is a senior member of KOICA, the Korean international cooperation agency. Dr. Kim worked long for the Korean government's institute for forest development until he retired several years. He has since been volunteering in such countries as Indonesia, Guatemala and China. They grow all kinds of vegetables in their yards and they supply all their needs themselves. All home grown and organic, in other words. He is eager to help Rwanda achieve transformation in many agricultural areas. He is now teaching at ISAE, Rwanda's agricultural college.

[Mt. Sabyinyo...-->]

Ruhengeri is the home to Virunga National Park that comprises five volcanic mountains, namely Karisimbi, Muhabura, Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Bisoke. Karisimbi is the tallest at 4,508m that I climbed in December. Sabyinyo looks most beautiful as shown in the photo. Virunga National Park is home to mountain gorillas that are living only three mountries: i.e. Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. The head of a gorilla family is called "silver back" because he has gray hair in his back. On average, a silver back weighs 400 pounds. I had an opportunity to trek them in December 2009 when our daughter Joyce visited us.

We stayed over night in Ruhengeri. On Sunday, we worshiped at St. John Cathedral that is the only church that has English service. Then, we headed out to Gisenyi, the capital town of Rubavu District. Gisenyi borders with DR Congo and is by the northern tip of the Lake Kivu that is the largest lake in Rwanda. Lake Kivu is known for its methane gas contained in the Lake by the water weight. Since methane gas is hazardous and harmful to people, this lake is one of the risky areas. But the government started an methane gas extraction project to convert it to the electricity. Once it is fully implemented, Rwanda will be able to increase its power capacity dramatically by 20 times, enabling itself to export excess power to neighboring countries.
This extraction project is like catching two birds with one stone. In other words, it removes the risk and generates the power.

[Entrance to Lake Kivu Serena]

This place is beautiful and gives you a moment of tranquil serenity. We both had a good time of rest and relaxation. We thanked the Lord for the opportunity. - Jeffrey

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