This week, we are in Africa. rwanda is a very beautiful country because of its climate and vegetation. Everywhere is lush and green in this country. The average temperature is 22 degrees Celsius all year round and it does not reach 35 degrees even during the hottest time of the year.
Rwanda is located in central Africa. Its surface area is 26,338 square kilometers. Its population is 12 million. Its capital city is Kigali. The population density in Rwanda is the highest of all the African countries. Its neighbors are Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Uganda. The total area of its borders is 893 kilometers. The country is landlocked and therefore does not have a coast. Most parts of the country are mountainous and the country is at a high altitude. Even at its lowest point, the Rusizi River, it has an altitude of 950 meters. The Karisimbi volcano is the country’s highest point at 4,519 meters. Due to its mountainous terrain, Rwanda is also called the “country of 1,000 hills.”
Kinyarwanda is the country’s principal and official language. English and French are also among the country’s secondary official languages. The Swahili language, mostly used in coastal eastern African regions, is also used in this country, particularly for trade purposes.
We leave the capital and travel into the country’s rural areas. We move toward the eastern parts of the country. We are passing by small towns along the road.
We come across farmers carrying objects to sell in the marketplace. They carry mainly bananas that they have picked at their plantations. They are pushing their bikes uphill with difficulty. They will sell their goods to earn their living. The frame of one of these bikes attracts our attention. Its frame has broken and been welded back together, apparently on more than one occasion. We approach a villager named John Pole and salute him, and ask the weight of the bananas he is carrying on his bike. He says the bananas weigh 150 kilograms. Having woken up early in the morning, he is moving toward the market. The 150 kilogram cargo and the steep hill do not bother him. He is pushing the bike with all his might. This is the way these people earn their living. They only have their bikes to use as transport vehicles.
We see another farmer bringing firewood to the market. He too uses his bike to carry the bundle. He has a long way to go. But luckily he is riding his bike, not walking next to it.
Struggle to survive is fierce in the rural areas
Another group of farmers with bikes are carrying sacks loaded with cabbages. In short, the roads are very busy in rural Rwanda. Those farmers who don’t have bikes carry their loads on their backs or on their heads. It appears that the struggle to survive is fierce in the rural areas. Everyone, young or old, is carrying goods to the market in this manner. They have to travel several miles on foot to reach the market. All along the road, we come across these people.
The overwhelming majority of the population in Rwanda lives in rural areas. A total of 90 percent of the population engages in agriculture. Due to the low rate of mechanization, agriculture in the country relies largely on manual labor. We see farmers hoeing the land. They have to work for several hours a day even though the job could be done in minutes with agricultural machinery. They will continue to hoe all day long. Almost half of the population lives below the poverty line.
The apparel of children grabs our attention. They wear clothes that are torn and ragged. This picture alone is enough to portray the human struggle in the rural areas of the country.
We see fish farms all along the road too, and notice small wooden crates over the pools. A closer inspection reveals that there are rabbits inside these crates. There are dozens of rabbits in the cages. One of the employees takes a rabbit from the cage and shows it to us.
The water in the pools is quite muddy, but the activity on the surface implies that hundreds of fish live in the pools. We are told that the rabbits are specifically fed on the cages above the pools” for their excrement.” Rabbit manure helps fish grow faster. We have seen lots of fish farms around the world, but the farms here are unique in that they use rabbit manure to boost fish growth
The roads, in both the urban and rural regions, are good. These bump-free roads enable people to travel comfortably.
We see animals grazing the lush green hills of the country. Thanks to a suitable year-round climate, the animals can find grass to graze on at any time of the year. Banana groves and corn fields are abundant in this beautiful region. The land is quite fertile. There are many lush green valleys in the country.
Rwanda is very famous for its silverback gorillas. Out of 800 silverbacks around the world, 500 live within Rwanda’s borders. The animals face the risk of extinction and they are considered a major national asset to the country. It is possible to go on gorilla safaris to inspect these animals closely in their natural habitats. After a three-hour climb, tourists reach the silverbacks’ natural habitats, where they can observe these gorillas up close and be briefed about their lives. But it is forbidden to move close to the gorillas or do anything to anger them. Every year, many tourists come to the country to see these animals that are at risk of extinction up close and personal.