Sunday, July 13, 2014

Weekend in Musanze!

This weekend we traveled to Kigali to enjoy a 4th of July celebration (on the 11th) hosted by the US embassy. It was nice being around a lot of Americans again and it was nice eating a burger. The next day I traveled to Musanze (i dont know if im spelling it right) to go caving with a small part of the group. In the city, there are big caves that people pay money in order to obtain guided tours through them. Otherwise you are not allowed to enter the caves. We purchased passes for the caves and while we were waiting we decided to go into some of the smaller caves located throughout the town. We had a friend in the area who knew where they were and was taking us to them. On our second cave to crawl through we noticed the entire village was standing at the entrance watching us. There were around 12 Rwandans in the cave with us showing us around and just having a fun time. After a little bit we noticed all the Rwandans in the cave climbed out of the entrance really fast, leaving the four of us in the cave with our friend and one other Rwandan who was in a small hole blocking on of our friends from getting out (I think unknowingly). We finally got him out and made it to the top of the entrance where we were met by armed guards and our friend was immediately taken into custody. At this point I was pretty freaked out wondering what they were going to do to us. A man dressed up in business professional (stands out a lot from village wear) walked up to us speaking broken English. in the time span of 15 minutes we figured out it was illegal to go into the caves, the caves were dangerous and that we weren't going to be in trouble. Lucky a tour guide arrived with he company we were supposed to tour with and we were able to explain how we had passes for the caves and just went into the wrong caves. The tour guide took us to the right caves and we began our exploration through the "correct" Rwandan caves. After our first cave we were stopped by some fancy man who I think was in charge of tourism for the town. This man was really upset with us and by this point I was really pissed off at the whole situation so I stayed out of this confrontation but he talked to the group for 30ish min(holding us up from caving). All I got from this guy was he was really pissed at us, but since we are Americans they cant do anything to us so we continued caving. At this point all of the group was pretty upset and we wanted to go spelunking but the big boss man said we couldnt and so I got in an argument with him and he ended up saying go spelunking in the next cave for all he cares but he wouldnt take us to the "official" spelunking cave.
So at the next cave we all broke I think every rule you can in the caves. We were climbing the walls diving into random holes and crevices going completely off the paved path designed for tourists. We had armed guards for whatever reason just laughing at us and the guide we had on our volcano hike and he was loving it. So in the end we had a really fun experience that I am really glad we were able to experience. I dont know what happened to Peter (our friend who I believe was arrested), but I will update if I figure out anything.

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