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ken4ord

[TR] Rusumo, Rwanda 2/20/2005

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Climb: Rusumo, Rwanda-scoping a lines, next time climbing them

 

Date of Climb: 2/20/2005

 

Trip Report:

Well I made it out to the eastern side of the country this last weekend. We went to Rusumo, Rwanda, on the border of Tanzania. It was pretty fuckin' hot out there.

 

Misti and I had gone to do a Hash, running and drinking sort of thing, I guess they happen everywhere around the world. I am not sure what the hell I was thinking since I had a diarrea thing going on and it was 90 degrees out, but I still tried to run it. After a while I gave up on running was going to be happy to just finish it, considering at this point I was having cold chills, which I assumed wasn't normal.

 

At a view point along the Hash though I spotted this beautiful cliff that is on the Tanzania side of the river. It is about 150m high and overhanging on the righthand side. I believe it is limestone, at some point I will find out. Probably won't get there until late July or early August, since I already have travel plans up until then.

3794Rusumo_Hash_012-med.jpg

A little farther down the trail I saw off in the distance another little craglet down by the river. I am guessing this one may be sandstone and about 30-40m high, but again I will have to go find out sometime.

3794Rusumo_Hash_014-med.jpg

Then later that day I was able to get a better view of the cliff via helecopter. It awesome flying through the gorge and getting a look at crack lines on the wall. (Click on the image in the gallery to enlarge the image and you'll see the lines.)

 

3794Rusumo_Hash_024-med.jpg

3794Rusumo_Hash_048-med.jpg

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All this TR needs is baboon masturbation like in the John Sherman story about Kenya. cantfocus.gif

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Rusumo has changed since I last saw it, early in 1995. Here's a trip report of sorts.

 

The Road to Rusumo

 

In Rwanda, the road to the border at Rusumo drops east out of lush volcanic mountains into hot, dry lowlands, the vegetation becoming sparse, the soil dry and cracked. In each town is a church, and it was to these churches that people fled for sanctuary during the genocide— dozens, sometimes hundreds of men, women and children huddled inside each one. The killers came with hoes, shovels and machetes, and they cut tendons so that people could not flee, then took them outside one at a time and hacked them to death. This was tiresome work, and when the killers grew weary they stopped to eat and smoke and talk. At the end of the day they went home to sleep, returning the following day to continue: working steadily but without haste, sharpening their tools and killing their neighbors. In some cases this went on for days. They say the smell was terrible, and that the rivers filled with corpses.

 

It is ten years since I rode through those lowlands at night—darkened buildings and empty fields and death in the wind—and listened to the stories the survivors told each other again and again. Some looked for the ways of telling that might heal; others spoke only of the evil that resided in those others, a half-million strong in the camps just across the Rusumo Bridge. Later, I rode through the camps and I saw those people too, and I saw the people who had come fleeing earlier massacres. Ten years ago—and twenty and thirty—they came, fleeing terrors real and imagined, the implements of cultivation and harvest, the hard and unseeing eyes of their neighbors.

 

There is a Rwanda in every place I have been, and in all the people I meet.

 

 

(Mark Harfenist)

Edited by markharf

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Mark it definitely has changed a lot since you were here, but at the same time it hasn't changed much. Yes the massacares and just plain old butchering of people is not happening and the refuge camp at the border here is gone, but there is the belief through out the country that genocide could happen again and there are still camps in the eastern side of the country and fighting in the Congo. It is still hopeful that things will turn out alright, the tribunals are still working, there is a lot of nations investing into the country and its infastructure, in Burundi there is a vote today in splitting up the power structure between the Hutu's and Tutis and laying down of arms. In ten years things have improved, but it has a long ways to go.

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I went on a hash when I was visiting my parents in China. We got on a bus, went out into the country and took a walk, then ate dinner back in town. Bad trafic took forwver. Helped some guys pull thier motorcycle out ot an iragation ditch.

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