They paddle in unison. They do so while singing. Singing boosts their morale and enhances their chemistry. Their rhythm is on point. The splashing sound of their strokes add flavor to their melodies.
Their favorite song is titled My Clementine. The whole composition is an assurance to Clementine that her man (the singer) is working all night long. That he is not with another woman. The last verse is a promise that fresh fish will be delivered in the morning.
The song goes like this, "My Clementine, I am at work. I will be working all night long. I am not with another woman. My Clementine, I will bring you fresh fish in the morning."
When darkness envelops the lake, they set up lit lanterns. From the shore, their workshop looks like a diamond-sprinkled dark surface. As their vessel sways on shuffled waves, their kerosine-powered lanterns twinkle like little stars in the sky.
Enough of the poetic stuff. This evening, I have encountered a team of fishermen propelling their engineless boat to their fishing spot off the shore of Karongi. No engine, no problem. The wooden thing glides seamlessly.
It’s getting late. I am on my way back to my hotel but these highly motivated gentlemen are getting ready for another night of fishing.
I hope God will bless the work of their hands tonight. I pray they don’t return empty-handed. Clementine is waiting for evidence of their whereabouts.
The author is an adventurer on a tour of all 30 districts and 416 sectors of Rwanda. Follow his awe-inspiring journey on Twitter @GeoExposure.