Immunizations

Please schedule an appointment with your doctor/clinic sooner rather than later to discuss travel immunizations for traveling to Rwanda.  Sometimes there is a wait for inoculations to be ordered. Below are guidelines from CDC.  That said, your doctor is the best person to help you figure out what makes sense for you.

CDC guidelines: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/rwanda

You should be up to date on most routine vaccinations. (measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.)

The following are recommended for travelers to Rwanda:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Malaria
  • Typhoid

Note some options for malaria can cause upset stomach or disturbed sleep.  Please discuss with your doctor the best option for you.

Some travelers may also want to get:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Rabies (for those who expect to interact with animals – not us)
  • Yellow Fever (not needed for most travelers, but required for travelers coming from areas with active yellow fever/risk of yellow fever (not us) – or those who will have heavy exposure to mosquitos). In past trips, some travelers have opted to get  this shot and some have not.

Also, Wisdom & Money recommends:

  • a broad spectrum traveler’s antibiotic, just in case.
  • mosquito repellent
  • immodium and tums, just in case
  • fever reducer, just in case

Travel Logistics

By now, you should have already purchased your flight.

If you have not already, we also recommend traveler’s insurance in case of  lost items, emergency medical care/hospitalization,  need to change plans, etc..   We do not anticipate any of this happening.  This is just in case.   If you do purchase traveler’s insurance, please provide a copy to Rose or Steve.

For most international flights, you can check 2 bags with no charge.  Because we will have 8-10 people traveling together in cars/vans, we request that you limit your luggage to 1 checked bag and 1 backpack/smaller carry on if you can.

As you know, getting to Rwanda requires two long flights – one to Europe and one to Africa.   I, Rose, find it helpful to wear compression socks to assist with circulation and I also make a point of getting up and going for a walk every hour or two while on the plane to assist with circulation.  Others have told me that they bring slippers for walking around the flight (so laces don’t constrict blood flow).

International flights generally provide meals and beverages (true for KLM) and often have movies available at your seat.   The flights are also a great opportunity to catch up on your reading, to engage in conversation with your traveling companions, and to practice meditation!

Funds

Wisdom & Money will pay for our housing, meals, and transportation.    Participants cover the cost of flights, travel insurance, and souvenirs/crafts.

We recommend between $100 and $200 for shopping depending on how much you wish to bring back.  More expensive items for those who might be inclined (art and custom-tailored clothing) can run higher but can be paid for with a credit card. Bring $100 bills that are 2009 or newer and in good condition with no pen marks or tears. Crisp and clean is important.

Clothing

Often, our African friends will choose to dress in their best clothing while they are with us. Culturally, you are showing respect by dressing in a manner which feels neat and respectful to you.  With that said, you need to be comfortable as some of the days are long. For women, a short sleeved (or wide strapped tank top) shirt with a nice knee length skirt or pants and flat shoes works well, with a scarf tucked in your purse to wrap around shoulders if needed. For men, a collared, short sleeved button shirt and long pants (not shorts) would be appropriate. Comfortable clothing for leisurely mornings or late evenings are fine.

Weather

Temperatures in Rwanda are pleasant with warm afternoons and cool mornings and nights. A sweater and light layers for evenings in Rwanda is recommended.

In June, daily high temperatures are around 79°F, rarely falling below 75°F or exceeding 83°F. Daily low temperatures are around 61°F, rarely falling below 58°F or exceeding 65°F.  Most days are typically clear to partly cloudy with a 10-20% chance of rain.

Other information

  • Do not bring anything that is irreplaceable.
  • We encourage you to leave expensive jewelry home (besides a simple wedding band).
  • Electronic devices (ipod, phone, etc.) are fine to bring and can be locked in the room.
  • If you plan to bring electronic devices, you will need to bring an adaptor with plug type C or J.

Resources to Explore  (Optional)

  • Re Rwandan History/Genocide
    • Shake Hands with the Devil– by Romeo Dallaire – written by head of UN forces during genocide.   Recommended by Philbert.
    • “Hotel Rwanda” – Film (note that facts of story are inaccurate, though depiction of genocide is not).  We plan to visit this hotel.
    • “Sometimes in April” – Film
  • Re Forgiveness/Reconciliation
    • From Red Earth: A Rwandan Story of Healing and Forgivenessby Denise Uwimana-Reinhardt (Rose currently reading)
    • No Future without Forgiveness– Bishop Tutu
    • On Being Interview with Bryan Stevenson (Focused on US  – references Rwanda as helpful for his work in US)
  • Re Money
    • African Friends and Money Matters by David E. Maranz
    • Decolonizing Wealth by Edgar Villanueva
  • Re Wisdom Practices/Spirituality
    •  Wisdom Way of Knowing by Cynthia Bourgeault