Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Crashing through a hedge

Out running at six this morning, I took a different turn and went along the roads behind and below the hotel. The main roads in Kigali are very nice - but immediately behind the hotel they were just mud roads in an area which was quite far from slums. There were lots of individual houses, some expensive ones behind big fences - many of those owned by different NGOs - and smaller, more basic ones without fences, often up well trodden paths. It must be very dirty when it rains, as it did yesterday afternoon. The water supply did not seem that good - many people walked about with jerrycans.

I ran along and along and along the road, until suddenly it finished, but there were a few planks across a little ravine. Found myself in a large patch of rough ground, crossed it and found that it seemed to be surrounded by big walls. But hey, wasn't there a gap in a hedge, and what looked like a road beyond? I popped through the hedge and found myself in someone's garden (or, well, the metre or so of land surrounding the house). Shot through the garden and out into the street. This was just a path, with a ravine of about a metre deep going down one side of it, and the pedestrians clinging onto the very uneven ground on the other side. At least the ravine did not seem to contain sewage - it was more like a rainwater drain. You would not want to be disabled and live at the bottom of that hill!

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