Susan Boiko, MD: Getting Around Kigali by Car, Freestyle Bus, Motorbike, On Foot…

Today I took every mode of transportation available in Kigali except for airplane or boat.

I started with a ride in Dr Joseph’s car. He is one of the Health Development Initiative  directors, to the HDI offices.  From dirt to cobblestones to paved asphalt, we even passed numerous traffic lights (there was only one in Kigali last year at this time).  Next I went with Claude, the factotum for the Pygmy Survival Alliance,  known as the Peoples Survival Alliance, on foot for about six blocks to a freestyle bus. it is a minivan holding 14 passengers. It has no label showing a route, so you ask when it is at the stop; you get on, knock on the roof when you see where you want to get off, Pay 60 cents as you exit. Next, another walk to the house we’ll be renting when my brother-in-law,  Dr. Karl, sister Dr Patricia, and adult niece Anna all join me on Saturday for 13 days of hard work visiting with the comunity members in Bwiza and traveling to another village co-sponsored by Partners in Health.

But I digress.

After walking back to the town center of Kicukiru, we had lunch at Chez Lando, got picked up in an SUV by a friend if Claude’s who just happened to see us walking along the road, then I got on a “moto”, motorbike taxi where the driver gave me a helmet as I wrapped my arms around him and held on tight for a gentle downhill ride to the HDI office, where I helped one of the office staff, a recent high school graduate who hopes to attend college in the United States, look for information about the SAT exam being given in Rwanda.  Finally, my ride home was with Dr Joseph’s wife Betty in her car, stopping at a market to pick up some diapers. Next to the market was a Fench bakery, so brioche for breakfast tomorrow!

Susan Boiko, MD
Kaiser Permanente San Marcos (Calif.) Outpatient Medical Center

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