Huye, Rwanda

It’s Saturday morning and everything is closed. And boy, am I hungry.

No cars on the road. No moto-taxis. No buses. A scant few people around, but I had to walk for awhile outside of downtown Huye/Butare to see what was going on: umuganda, the mandatory day of community service that happens on the last Saturday each month. High school students took turns with machetes, chopping grass and trimming hedges; university students cleaned up their genocide memorial in preparation for April, the month of remembrance; people of all ages helped out at a church’s garden, preparing soil and fertiliser. All were cheery, despite moments of heavy rain on an abnormally cold morning. Then just around noon, it was all over (and I could finally find some food).

The spirit of cooperation.
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