After touring Nyamasheke, I returned to Kigali. On my way back to the capital, I spent a night in Karongi. It had been a while since I had sojourned in this resort town. Upon arrival, I checked in and ordered something to eat. Then I sat in a lakeside cabana and sipped some coffee.
Several islands were in the vicinity. I tried to name each one of them but, unfortunately, I could only remember the ones I had previously set foot on. I was unable to name the ones I usually bypass for obvious reasons: I never had any memorable stopovers on them.
I wanted to read but I didn’t feel like staring at any screen. My electronic devices were far away from me. Opening emails whose content include words and acronyms like urgent and ASAP was the last thing I needed. I knew I was about to miss a deadline or two but I didn’t want to be reminded by those annoying notifications. All I needed was coffee and a good book.
Most of my stuff was in my bike’s panniers. I walked to the parking lot and opened them hoping to find something to read. The only book I found therein was one of my own publications — a 32-page account of my own experiences in this beautiful Western Province district.
Titled Karongi: Adventure Diaries, this book rekindled memories I had created while touring the district extensively — participating in a wide range of thrilling activities. As I turned the pages, scenes of my documented excursions were replayed in my mind. It felt like watching a movie I had stared in.
I am currently working on a project that will create similar books highlighting my experiences and observations in the rest of the districts. In partnership with different stakeholders, I intend to make these books available in community libraries and hospitality establishments across the country.
This grand tour of Rwanda is designed to showcase Rwanda as a tourist destination while cultivating the culture of reading. Speaking of reading, the number of donations made for the benefit of our community libraries is increasing. I appreciate our donors’ generosity. However, we have an acute shortage of local content. It’s our responsibility to fill this gap.
The author is visiting all 30 districts of Rwanda. His tour of Karongi is sponsored by Ikaze Rwanda Tours and Travel, Rebero Kivu Resort, Kivu Tours and Travel and Exposure. Follow him on Twitter @GeoExposure.