Mar 172012

Most people visit Gisenyi for the gorillas and a lot of people will trek up the volcano to see them twice. At $500 for a day permit we decided we’d only go once. As I’ve mentioned before, we made the most of it by going to the largest, and hardest to reach, group.

The next day we went on a much easier hike. We departed Gisenyi and walked along a well used path that links villages to the town. On the route we passed numerous little hamlets, crops, and fish farms. Along the way we stopped and traded a child a football for his homemade version – crafted from plastic and twine. Further along, there were grids etched into the baked ground and upon asking about them, we discovered they were used for a hopscotch type game. The children demonstrated this to us and then got a good laugh as we attempted it ourselves.

Our first official stop was in a village to see how the baskets photographed below are made. We’d seen a lot of these baskets across Africa in curio markets. They were all made of thread. These seem more authentic as they are made entirely from dried dyed grass. They work with long grass and bind it together with more grass as they spiral out from the middle. They thread the grass though a needle and push it through the thick bundle. We all gave it a try and concluded it was pretty difficult to push the needle through. I think Shannon was the only person with any luck. After this attempt, and chomping on some delicious sugar cane, we decided to play with our newly purchased homemade football. We had another real football with us, earmarked for the orphanage we visited later and the children in the village looked on inquisitively as we shunned the real football to kick the homemade one around.

I grabbed this photo on the way out. I’ve had a lot of difficulty processing it for some reason. I was combining three exposures from -2 to +2 but the results kept coming out grungy. So, I decided to try processing this image from a single raw with Photomatix. This result came out much cleaner but some of the photo was still under and overexposed. To fix this I layered all of the photos I had in Photoshop and masked in selected areas from the other exposures.Village women near Gisenyi, Rwanda with their colorful baskets made of dried dyed grass.

  2 Responses to “The Basket Weavers”

  1. I’ve seen baskets like that for sale. How wonderful to see a village where they are made ! Did any of you buy any of the baskets?

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