Sometimes it's the apparent nonchalance of things that grabs you. Take machine guns. In the last week or so, I've seen machine guns of all varieties being handled by the police, security guards and presidential guards. Nobody notices or minds and the wielder of the machine gun is usually pretty casual with pointing it around, directing traffic and slinging it back and forth. It's not quite as shocking to me because I remember seeing them frequently as a kid in Nigeria – my sister at five years old even handling one after asking a military policeman (presumably without parental permission). I doubt the guns are ever used here, but it still never ceases to register.
Conversely, sometimes it's the non-existence of things that intrigues you. Take garbage and critters. Everywhere I go in Kigali and the Rwandan countryside, I see ZERO garbage and no other varmints like rats or roaches. Rwanda has even taken the drastic step of banning plastic bags. And I haven't even seen garbage trucks (Naples – you now have no excuse), so I don't know how it's done. The cleanliness is remarkable. Alexi would say that it's his constant vigilance – he actually takes about 30 minutes a day to drive around the city and look for transgressions – and I've seen him call in an unauthorized pile of gravel at 10:30pm without hesitation. But there's another element at play too. Rwandans seem to be showing an unparalleled respect for themselves and their city. I'm not even sure which number we're reached, so I'll just say Reason #73 why Indego Africa made the right call with Rwanda. Learn more about our Hand Up program: CLICK HERE.
Note: One exception might be sticker graffiti but it's so funky – "Who Jah Bless" – how can you complain?
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