Hello everyone ....and welcome! You will notice that I went in for “Hello everyone”, as opposed to “Hello guyz”, which is the way that some uncouth and unschooled tour guides in some countries address tourists, regardless of their sex. Well, not in Rwanda.
My name is Loose Talker, for those of you who might find my native name, Mbonyinshuti tough to pronounce. On behalf of Loose Talk Tours, I say, welcome to Kigali International Airport, and by extension, the City of Kigali. In fact, welcome to Rwanda.
At this point, allow me to now rip off my thick, dark sunglasses to facilitate direct eye-contact between me, your guide, and you, esteemed and devout gorilla tracker.
As you may be well aware already, building trust and confidence and general rapport between you and me starts in the simple act of eye contact.
I notice that a handful of you are wearing gigantic sun glasses of your own, but this is not to say that I have any issues with you, so keep them on.
While it is a known fact that wearing of sunglasses by tourists significantly improves the quality of the typical safari, it is ethically and aesthetically wrong for a tour guide like me to mask their eyes behind shades.
But the problem with wearing dark shades when guiding tours goes beyond just the fact of denying eye contact between the two parties. It is also that the tourist will immediately suspect you to be hiding blood shot eyes that you attained after over drinking the previous night. In the worst-case scenario, you will be suspected of being a habitual marijuana smoker, and no tourist wants to deal with an air head.
Now that you know why my sunglasses had to go, let’s proceed …
I know what you want to hear at this point: “You can leave your bags and luggage anywhere. Rwanda is very safe.” Well, sorry, but that’s not my personal style when it comes to guiding. In fact, it is sycophants and those guides who only work for the next tip that utter such gibberish.
Rwanda is safe, very true, but show me one place in the world without petty thieves and vagabonds and scavengers and pick-pockets and street hustlers!
Back to our ride into town …yes, it will take only about five minutes. This is because that nonsense of traffic jams and potholes is unheard of here.
Now, please know it that it is against the laws of general public decorum to get drunk in public. So, go slow on your Skol and Virunga Mist cravings.