After nearly 48 hours of travel I have finally made it to Rwanda with The Anne Frank Project. It seemed as if this trip was but a distant dreams and now all of a sudden it is real. I know that now as I sit in my bed at the St. Paul Guesthouse with a mosquito nest hanging over my head. The journey has proven to make my body feel exhausted and I have no doubt that I will good a good nights rest and wake up with enthusiasm. The highlight of the day was landing in Kigali; every flight had finally lead us here to this city. Immediately after walking down the steps of the Ethiopian Airlines plane, I looked out at the bountiful luscious green rolling hills of Kigali and couldn’t help but smile. This country is not at all what I had expected; Kigali has become incredibly innovative with countless universities, businesses and public transportation systems. Rwanda is now one of the safest countries in sub-Saharan Africa and women hold elite political titles. It’s mesmerizing to hear how this country had been able to rebuild itself into something greater after experiencing so much tragedy during the genocide. With open mindedness being a constant disposition I look forward to learning how the Rwandan people rebuilt their country and changed it for the better.
About the Author
Hi my name is Monique Newman and I am a junior pursuing a degree in Sociology at Pepperdine University. In my free time I enjoy spending most of it outdoors engaging in various hiking activities with friends, playing basketball or spending all day at the beach. The first time I heard of the Anne Frank Project was through a leadership conference that I attended while studying abroad in Switzerland during my second year of college. My desire to see the world, diving into new experiences and serving diverse communities is what made me want to embark on this new journey to Rwanda with SUNY Buffalo State College. One of the most important aspects about this trip is going in with an open mind and being willing to empathize. I believe this is essential in order to hear and be present while learning about people’s individual stories and life lessons as well as understanding the beauty of cultures that are different from my own.