Bye bye 2016, hello 2017!

I guess most bloggers around the world have already posted a summary of what they’ve done in 2016, only I’m falling behind πŸ˜‰ But although last year was full of adventures for me, I’d rather concentrate on this one. OK, this IS a bit of a summary but mostly to compare last year’s events with my plans for 2017 πŸ™‚

This time in 2016 I was still in Ireland where I had also spent New Year’s Eve (after Christmas in Poland). And in two days’s time it will be exactly one year since I flew from Dublin to London, where I then stayed for 4 months. It was T’s job that took us there, and after a couple of months in London he left for Bordeaux (also for work) while I stayed behind as I had managed to find a nice temporary job πŸ™‚ My mum visited me in London over Easter, and since she had never been before, we ran around for 9 days to make sure she sees as many of the great sights as possible πŸ™‚ At the beginning of May I joined T. in Bordeaux, and this time my brother came down and we spent a lovely week sightseeing and enjoying this gorgeous city. Then T. and I went back to Ireland to spend a great week in Donegal with our friends, and finally on 20 May at midnight we landed in Kigali πŸ™‚ Β Phew, it’s a shame all those distances I covered (about 11,000 km in total!) don’t add up to fund a ticket to the Seychelles or Maldives πŸ˜‰

I was very excited about the move to Rwanda, although reality soon dampened my spirits a bit. It took nearly 3 months for me to get a resident visa as it turned out that the local authorities do not recognise unmarried partners after all (even though our employer had been adamant that this would not be an issue and that nobody had ever had any problems. Well, there is always that first victim…) In the meantime my passport was stuck somewhere at the ministry, and I had no idea what my status was as my visitor’s visa expired after the first month. On top of that, we had problems with registering the car we’d bought from T’s predecessor. The Rwandan government suddenly changed the rules, which were in contradiction with previous agreements, and for two months our car was stuck in the car park with no plates, and we had to use taxis or walk. This may not be a big problem in Kigali, as it’s so safe and easy to get around, but if you want to go shopping or just get away for the weekend, it becomes annoying. Eventually we managed to borrow a car from the office and go away to Lake Kivu to get some rest and be away from it all (I wrote about it here). And to add to this, for the first month we lived in a temporary apartment, and when we finally moved to the house which had been assigned to us, the works had not finished yet so for two weeks I had to supervise the workmen who were drilling, painting and hammering every single day… πŸ˜‰ Eventually it all worked out but I must admit that those first three months were quite a test as many things simply weren’t going according to plan. And the fact that mosquitoes were eating us alive wasn’t helping! πŸ˜‰ Unfortunately Rwandan mozzies absolutely Β love us, so much that even sprays and long sleeves and trousers don’t help – they bite through jeans! And we never hear or see them, which has fooled us a few times and we ended up looking like we had chickenpox…

But after all this we’re still alive and well πŸ™‚ We have managed to see a bit of Rwanda already (apart from Lake Kivu, we also went to Akagera National Park, admired the views near Volcanoes National Park, and also hiked in Nyungwe Forest about which I will post something soon) and we got used to some customs which seemed strange at first (I mentioned some of them here).Β So what’s in stock for this year then? Definitely mountain gorillas! But not until the dry season, so sometime between June and September, as it’s easier to hike the volcanoes and in the cloud forest (isn’t this a fabulous name?) We are also planning a road trip to neighbouring Uganda, but we’re not sure if we’ll manage to visit Kenya and Tanzania. In March we’re off to South Africa for our friends’ wedding, and in May – to a wedding of our close friends in England. This means we might not have enough leave and money for a holiday in the Serengeti or Maasai Mara (both rather expensive destinations)… I also have Ethiopia on my list but the recent political situation doesn’t encourage visits at the moment… Well, we’ll see! The most important resolution for this year is to make the most of our stay in Rwanda πŸ™‚ We started with the garden – T. has planted loads of stuff, and given the rich soil and eternal summer things should start growing soon! We are counting on good harvests πŸ™‚ This climate is perfect for gardening so we will enjoy it as much as we can πŸ™‚ Oh, and obviously there is the “exercise more” resolution! I have a really good reason to get fit though – I’m a bridesmaid at the wedding in May πŸ˜€

6 thoughts on “Bye bye 2016, hello 2017!

    1. Thank you! πŸ™‚ I’ve been posting some photos of the garden (and its produce) on Instagram and on Facebook but maybe you’re right, I should compile them into one post for the blog πŸ™‚ There is some super yummy stuff on your blog, I’m looking forward to checking out your recipes, and everything else about Ireland as I absolutely love this country πŸ™‚ All the best for 2017!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Baba Joga

    Best of luck in New Year πŸ™‚

    PS. Maybe in your garden you could plant a tree ? Even if it’s temporary place, you will pass a beautiful gift to the next person who will live there πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! There are quite a lot of trees in my garden already πŸ™‚ Including two avocado trees, four banana trees, a papaya tree and two guava trees πŸ™‚ I’m afraid there is no space for more (and it’s not really our house so we need to agree everything we want to do with the landlord), but if the veggie patch works out well, we’ll certainly leave it behind for the next person! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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