While visiting Mubuga Sector of Karongi District, I came across the waterfall I had never seen before. It is a powerful stream dropping from the edge of a colossal cliff about 90 feet higher than the rock I was standing on.
One young man was taking a shower at the foot of the cliff. I felt like I was invading his privacy but he didn’t seem to be bothered by my presence. A few yards away, an old man was nourishing his wrinkled skin with Vaseline Petroleum Jelly after taking a shower of his own.
The old fella, who introduced himself as Musafiri the fisherman, was friendly and talkative. He is a retired fisherman but his passion for fishing is as strong as ever. For 50 years, he spent numerous nights in his fishing boat doing what he could do best. Today, he is a proud mentor of three sons who followed his footsteps.
According to Musafiri the fisherman, Lake Kivu is a gift from God and so are the streams that feed it. "Without those precious streams, the lake would be nothing but an empty rift. A very deep useless valley." He stressed.
At some point during our conversation, my new friend issued a stern warning claiming I had repeatedly addressed him inappropriately. He is referred to as Musafiri the fisherman, not just Musafiri as I had called him a number of times. Our conversation was casual and informal but his title had to be stated nonetheless.
As I listened to his take on the mystery behind the formation of the falls and the lake, two boys showed up, stripped off their clothes and started taking showers. It was a hot afternoon. They were invigorated by the splashing water.
As Musafiri the fisherman kept breaking down his theories, more boys showed up with empty jerrycans, filled them with water and dragged them to their houses. One of them took a quick shower before proceeding to deliver 20 liters of water to his mother.
This river flows from the southwestern highlands. It maneuvers towards Lake Kivu through numerous obstacles forming countless shapes along the way. It brings water to his community and waters his wife’s vegetables. It feeds the lake, which in turn, feeds his family.
The stream, powered by divine intervention, returns content lost by the lake through evaporation. "The lake gives and receives in a circle that illustrates the phenomenon of giving and receiving." He explained.
According to Musafiri the fisherman, before the lake came into being, God created a deep valley. The Almighty did not stop there. He also created sources of streams that filled the valley. The stream responsible for the installation of his natural shower is one of them. As I was trying to figure out the formation of these geographical features from the scientific point of view, Musafiri the fisherman revealed to me that he sees the hand of God in the creation of the falls I was admiring and the lake he worked in for half a century.
Over the course of our discussion, he accused me and other city dwellers of affinity to a fallacious belief in plumbers and our water and sanitation corporations while turning a blind eye to the real dispenser of the running water we are privileged to have. "The mysterious fountains from which these streams originate are a manifestation of God’s provision to mankind." He said.
I was tempted to talk to him about fishing but I knew I needed a whole day to engage him in a fishing conversation. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a whole day. I left without listening to his fishing story and rushed back to the city whose inhabitants don’t remember who is the real provider of the water flowing from their taps.
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.