Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rohith's Tea Plantation

Saturday we took our second trip to Rohith's tea plantation, SORWATHE, with friends. Eleven of us piled into Alan's Land Cruiser around 6:30 am to get out of town before Umuganda began. I think I've mentioned Umuganda before.

Umugand is held the last Saturday of every month and is basically a day of community activity. The morning usually consists of outside hard labor and the afternoon concludes with community announcements and meetings. All Rwandans MUST participate or stay in their houses. No shops are open or anyone allowed on the roads until afternoon. Urban legend has it that even foreigners will be put to work if they are caught out on the roads, but we decided to risk it and plead tourist if caught. About an hour into our journey we were pulled over, but after a few minutes of explaining and a warning to slow down we were on our way once again.

We arrived and took a short version of the Tea Factory Tour (Post forthcoming on how tea is made) and then went to Rohith's house for tea (of course), snacks and to get ready to start the day of games!

We played tennis, table tennis, golf, and darts until early afternoon. Some chose to take walks around the grounds and our next door neighbor painted a lovely picture of the surrounding mountains. (You can also see some volcanoes on a clear day). We had a great lunch of Sri Lankan dishes that Rohith's wife taught the cooks to make and were soon too full and lazy to play anymore.

We took a break after lunch to let our food settle and talk and enjoyed each other's company. Alan knows how to get the cheapest airline tickets, Ben was a pretty good disc golf competitor in Houston, Rohith expained the rules of cricket, and I would love to go to the next Olympic games.

Some of us squeezed in one last doubles match of tennis before changing out of our play clothes and loading up in the cruiser. One 2 hour bumpy ride later (no shocks) we were home shortly after dark. Rob and I came in the house sat down and then remembered that Heaven Restaurant was showing the basketball tournament live. And, we were off again!

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