19 May 2008

Hash Run TWO: Nyambagogo.

by Lindsay Ferrara
Last saturday at 16:00, Cecily and I went to La Gazelle hotel and bar to meet up with the hashers again. We waited around for a few others to show up while we sipped on a Fanta (I still do not understand the appeal of drinking carbonated soda before an hour long run- but hey, when in Rwanda, run like the Rwandans... right?). It seemed this week would be a much smaller group, and it ended up being only two runners (Sraith and me) and two walkers (Egide and Peter).

This week's route was straight up and straight down a mountain. I'm not sure where the running was supposed to come in—but me and Sraith ended up walking most of the trail. Some would argue that this is because we are not in shape enough to run up a 90 degree incline for forty minutes. Humph. For argument's sake, we are that in shape. I, however, was focused on other things such as 1. not falling off the mountain and 2. of course, the baby farm animals. And above all else, we had to safely arrive back to drink beer. Priorities people! But, I have to say this crazy trail has won a place in my top ten runs of all time (joining the ranks of the harry potter run in England, the Clamart-Meudon run in France, the Uluru run in Australia, and the Central Park run in the US).

mountain and parking lot with mural

As we scaled “the hill,” we passed through a community of houses/ dwellings that could not be imagined in the US. Groups of children ran behind us laughing and letting me know that I was a mzungu. So, right, my dear children, so right. A few said “bonjour!” As we climbed, the houses became fewer, but they still dotted the landscape in the must unexpected places. How do they even build houses here?!

hill in Kigali

We passed by manioc patches and exotic flowers. A group a kids sat together under a tree staring at us as we passed by. A little later we'd realize we lost the trail. (The “trail” is marked by shredded paper from the embassy I'm told. How curious!) So, we headed back the way we came (just to let the kids stare again) and eventually found the trail again leading up some obscure path that was not there the first time.

At the top, we took a few minutes to enjoy our accomplishment: a view of all Kigali. It was stunning. Everything looked so far away and so peaceful...ridiculously different from the crowded chaos we'd left behind just a half hour before.

But all things that go up must come down. Remember, the beer was down there-- and Cecily, and ... beer. Our descent was fast. This was not particularly by choice. It was due to the fact that going down a 90 degree incline lends itself to gravitational pull... and falling. Sraith said if I fell off the mountain, he'd watch until I landed and mark the spot in his mind. Then he'd continue on to La Gazelle and get a Mutzig to bring back to me... how thoughtful!

Luckily however, and by some miracle of I don't know what, I did not fall. I did get distracted by a little really cute baby goat-- which again I did not pet, although the adults around could totally tell I wanted to. And there was a little child who held my hand for some ways down the mountain until someone told him to let go. I got petted a few times too-- felt like I was in Japan again. MZUNGU MZUNGU!

Lindsay and Hash runners drink beer

The beer was delicious and totally worth the run. I wish we could have stayed longer to hang out—but it was getting dark, and well driving in Kigali is scary enough as it is. Driving in the dark is just.. eh, let's all just give a round of applause to Cecily. She deserves it. So another successful run on Africa, hopefully I have time for a few more. One of these days I might get my lazy butt out the door on a non-hash run. We'll see....


  1. Ahem! "two runners, two walkers, and TWO SIT-AT-THE-BAR-AND-DRINKERS"

    I paid my participation fee too you know

  2. indeed you are correct my friend, indeed.