The Wedding of Sheila and Sentell
We are 21 days from the big day…It’s hard to believe that the wedding is so close. But in 21 days, Sheila and I will be married. So I wanted to provide some updates for the wedding and the trip to Kigali…
Rwanda is a small land-lock nation located in the Great Lakes region of East Africa. The country is often compared to Maryland for its size and Switzerland and Colorado for its mountainous terrain and picturesque landscape. Rwanda has emerged from its dark past as a country on the move. If you have traveled on the African continent before, you will quickly noticed Kigali is a very organized and developing city with skyscrapers and fancy restaurants.
The weather in Kigali is very pleasant and changes constantly. Kigali’s location high in the mountains of East Africa provides it with a nice and comfortable climate. While the days can be very warm, the evenings are often cool. June is typical a dry month but rain clouds can appear with little to no warning and last for a very brief moment. The average highs are low to mid 80s and the lows hover around the low 60s (Fahrenheit).
As I said above, Kigali is located high in the mountains of East Africa. The city’s elevation is 5,141 feet (1566 meters). To put that in context, Denver is 5,130 feet and is known as the Mile-High City. So for those of you not use to being so high above sea level, it will take you a day or two to adjust to the elevation.
Nationals of Australia, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, Republic of South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States of America will be issued with entry visa valid for a period up to 30 days and pay for a visa ($30) upon arrival without prior application.
Nationals of all African countries traveling to or transiting through Rwanda obtains an entry visa upon arrival without necessarily making prior application and pay for a visa ($30) where applicable.
When you arrive at the Kigali airport, you will proceed into the terminal/building and take the escalator to immigrations. Proceed to the desk under the VISA sign. The desk will be on your left.
Don’t drink tap-water in Rwanda. Consider tap-water unsafe. I would suggest you use bottle water to brush your teeth. Bottled water is readily available and major brands are considered safe. Make sure that the seal is intact.
Rwanda is generally safe and crime levels are relatively low, but street crime does occur. There have been reports of an increase in burglary, theft and mugging in Kigali in recent months. You should take precautions with valuables and remain vigilant. This is the same advice that you should use when traveling through the U.S. or Europe. As you travel around Kigali, you will see police and military strategically placed throughout the city.
Photography of government buildings is prohibited. Never take photographs of anything connected with the government or the military (post offices, banks, bridges, border crossings, barracks, prisons and dams) – cameras can and will be confiscated.
Plastic bags have been banned for environmental reasons. Visible plastic bags will be confiscated on arrival at the airport.
There are ATMs in Kigali, but not all of them accept foreign cards. I often use my foreign debt card in Kigali and usually have no trouble at the Bank of Kigali or KCB. Credit cards are not widely accepted but you can use them in many of the popular restaurants. 779 Rwandan Francs (RWF) equals $1. Make sure you bring $100 bills (printed after 2006) to exchange for RWF.
The Wedding Party…
Rosette Mutoni (Matron of Honor), Kigali, Rwanda
Kirsten Mucyo, London, United Kingdom
Alida Ngwije Ruzibiza, Kigali, Rwanda
Rachel Musiime, Kampala, Uganda
Kristina Reeves, London, United Kingdom
Lilian Abatoni, Kigali, Rwanda
Andrew F. House, III, Washington, D.C. (USA)
We Have Dates…
Gusaba – Sunday, May 29, 2016 – Kigali, Rwanda
Wedding – Saturday, June 4, 2016 – Kigali, Rwanda
U.S. Reception – Sunday, July 10, 2016 – Satsuma, Alabama