Out of Africa: Monica swims Rwanda

Hi 1001 Pools! Patrick's favorite daughter here, writing about a pool I got to swim in while in Kigali, Rwanda.

A couple of weeks ago, I met up with a good friend of mine in Kigali. I have been working and living in Nairobi this summer, and she has been working and living in Gisenyi, a town in Rwanda that borders the Democratic Republic of Congo. I left the weekend's plans up to her, and was very excited to see she had researched a list of the best pools in Kigali for me to swim in! After scrolling through her list, I settled on the Sportsview Hotel.

When we got to the pool, there were 4 buff, Rwandan men doing what seemed to be a photo shoot. Unsure if I was allowed to be in their shot, I waited for it to end before changing into my suit and jumping in. The water was a perfect temperature, chilly but not freezing--a nice break from the hot Rwandan sun. I unfortunately did not pack my cap or goggles with me, so I was only able to do a few laps in the roughly 16 metre pool.

As I was swimming, a family came in, with three girls all around or younger than 8. The younger two stayed in the shallow area, but the eldest swam right beside me in the main pool. I saw her doing her best attempt at breaststroke--admittedly better than my breaststroke these days. When I turned my head to breathe in freestyle, I caught her looking at me, staring at my swimming. I waved underwater and was rewarded with a smile.

This pool was amazing, and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone staying in Kigali. And I would recommend a trip to Kigali. It quickly became one of my favorite cities in the world!

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