We went to another genocide memorial today. At first I was okay, the outside gate was broken from the grenade thrown at it so that the soldiers could get in. As I looked up I saw bullet holes on the outside awning. When I walked in I continued to see bullet holes, I began to see blood on the walls and poles. I looked to my left to see a statue of Mary. These people came to a church that they believed would keep them safe, especially their children. When I looked down on the benches I saw more children's clothes than anything. These babies didn’t have a chance to grow to experience the world, to walk, or talk before theirs lives were taken away from them. Inside the church there are stairs going down that led to a small room they built that was made to preserve some of the skulls and bones of the people that died in the church. My heart stoke as u saw broken skulls from clubs and machetes. Below the skulls was a casket of a young lady who in 1994 was 26. She was raped before she was killed with a sharpened stick that was entered through her vagina and exited her skull. To be raped is brutal and to be killed with a stick... it broke my heart. I began to take deep breaths to stop myself from crying. As we exited the church there is a small memorial in the back where they put to rest over 45,000 people. As a took my first step down I was okay it was the last step as I looked at a picture of a beautiful young lady that was placed on top on the casket is when I could no longer hold my tears back. These people did not deserve this. People did not deserve to lose their loved ones, people did not deserve to have their lives cut short. I looked back at Molly with a pool full of tears in my eyes. She whispered, “ It’s okay” I proceeded to keep going down, the caskets were open with the bones being visible. My heart could not handle it, how could someone take the life of so many? What have them the right to kill these people? Why? I ran back outside to breathe and to cry. Cry because this happened to these people. Cry because I was overwhelmed but honored to have been able to experience this. Also cry because I realized how grateful I am to have my family, to live with both my parents, and to have my wonderful brother and sister in my life and to still have grandparents... overall I was heartbroken but very much thankful. In the background of my thoughts I heard children laughing and screaming, I watched them and smiled for a while. It was incredible that this country has gone through so much and is still happy and filled with joy. Lila came over to me and we walked to the gate where the kids were hanging on the gate. “Muzungu” they laughed and pointed at us. They waved and blew us kisses. These kids are the future! This was a beautiful experience, very hard and heart breaking but beautiful. The group all grieved in different way but this experience did touch us all and I believe will have a big impact on our futures
You may find the book by a young Rwandan, The girl who smiled beads, of interest. While it does cover much of the genocidal cruelties, it is more about her escape, travels through the many refugee camps in central Africa and then her struggles when she arrive in America as a teen and tries to fit in with the American high school students
Leave a Reply.
I am traveling to Rwanda because I believe the people there have so much knowledge and so much to offer. I want the people there to impact my life in a positive way just as much as I want to impact their lives. I want to go and compare how their living style is different from mine and how I can change my living style to better myself, and my family. I want to be a teacher and the things that I learn in Rwanda I can use throughout my teaching career to impact people through sharing my story about my experience.