Standing in the Gishwati forest, I find myself questioning the choices that led me to this challenging journey. How did I convince myself that this was a good idea? My lungs burn, my heart threatens to escape my chest, and my knees quiver like leaves in a storm. ALSO READ: What Gishwati-Mukura’s new global status means Meanwhile, my hiking companions effortlessly skip along the trail, exchanging jokes and reveling in the experience. Do they possess superhuman endurance that eludes me, or did they somehow leave their mortal bodies behind? Let's provide some context. I'm in the breathtaking Gishwati forest, nestled in the north-western region of Rwanda, not far from the stunning Lake Kivu (for those who appreciate geographical references). ALSO READ: Beautiful Bigogwe of beautiful people and cows As part of the Rwanda Cultural Heritage Academy's organized activities, I thought embarking on this adventure would be grand. Little did I realize my woeful lack of preparation for the physical demands of hiking. I foolishly believed I could ascend this mountain with the grace of a gazelle. Spoiler alert: I am no gazelle. ALSO READ: ‘Ibere rya Bigogwe’: How influencer uses cultural tourism to promote birthplace And oh, the folly of my choice in footwear! Who knew that proper shoes could mean the difference between survival and crawling on hands and knees like a wounded animal? Consider this a lesson learned—always choose sensible footwear for a hike unless you seek an excuse for a humbling crawl. But really, Jade, white canvas sneakers for a hike? Those are better suited for leisurely strolls with my boyfriend, not traversing mountains with strangers! ALSO READ: Ibere rya Bigogwe proprietor reveals bigger plans after inking land deal Furthermore, the only person I know on this excursion is far behind. Though I'm no neglectful friend, I have little energy left to spare amidst my struggle for survival. Just as hope seems lost, a figure appears out of nowhere, akin to Sir Galahad—the noble knight destined to reclaim the Holy Grail—though his true name is Leopold. He pulls me to my feet without a word and sets off, leaving me to ponder whether he could kindly let me perish in peace. Yet, with each step, the world grows less bleak, and the treacherous mountain path becomes more manageable. Who needs an oxygen tank when a stranger's firm hand can provide solace? After what feels like an eternity, I finally reach what appears to be the summit. Waves of accomplishment wash over me, as if I've conquered Mount Everest, outpaced Usain Bolt, and won the lottery all at once. The view from here is simply breathtaking, momentarily convincing me that the beauty outweighs the pain. However, realization dawns upon me—I haven't reached my destination yet. I'm here to see the renowned farm of Ngabo Karegeya, Ibere rya Bigogwe, which has become popular in the last few years. This was my primary reason for embarking on this journey. So why do I feel a tinge of sadness knowing there's still a considerable distance ahead? As I descend from the peak, the ground beneath me grows increasingly slippery. Every step results in lost footing, causing my body to crash against the earth like a slapstick comedy actor auditioning for a role. Those around me follow suit, and the grassy path transforms into a chaotic playground. Even the gentleman who held my hand joins in on the fun and we find joy in each other's misfortunes. As a proud Gen Z member, I make sure to protect my most prized possession—my iPhone. Even if my bones shatter like porcelain, as long as my screen remains unscathed. Ngabo's farm showcases pastoral perfection, and it certainly lives up to its portrayal. The verdant greenery, awe-inspiring landscapes, and invigorating fresh air captivate me. But what truly astounds me is the milk—so pure, creamy, and exquisitely delicious. Now I understand why my mother claims there's no real milk in Kigali. After indulging in traditional dances, songs, and, of course, capturing moments for Instagram, it's time to make our way back. It's already 5pm, and the looming rain threatens to drench us. I confess, I lack the strength to ascend once more. Please, tell my parents that I love them, as I fear I may perish in the wilderness since a rescue jet won't be coming. To my delight, we take an alternative route, one that's straightforward and easier to traverse. Within 30 minutes, we reach the place where the buses that brought us are and I'm on the verge of throwing a tantrum. Why did they subject us to the torment of hiking through hell, when we could have easily reached the same destination without any difficulty? But why, you may ask. And to that, everyone simply laughs and replies, Where's the fun in that? I can't fathom what's wrong with humanity, but I must admit, it was, in its own way, a bit of fun. Yet one thing is certain—I won't be lacing up hiking boots anytime soon. And yes, my friend survived too!