“My mother and two little brothers were burned alive while trying to escape to Burundi. My older brother was stoned – they put the kids in a ditch and unloaded a truck full of stones onto them. My father was killed with a machete by our next-door neighbour. He’s an old guy now. I still see him whenever I go back to my home town. We exchange hellos.
I’m the only survivor. I survived because I was living with my grandparents at that time.”
My alarm goes off at 3.50 am. The driver picks me up half an hour later and we make our way through slumbering Kigali towards the Virungas, a mountain range consisting of eight volcanoes (some still active) shared by Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
What do you always pack when you travel? When I travel for business, I just throw in whatever takes my fancy into my largest suitcase, knowing that someone else will carry that suitcase for me. For backpacking, I carefully examine every item before putting it in my bag. But some items invariably make their way into my luggage no matter where I go and how I travel.