Saturday, January 2, 2010

Genocide Sucks!!!

I will make this post kind of short because honestly I can not take dwelling on the genocide anymore. I spent most of my afternoon at the world renowned genocide memorial in Kigali. They are kind in that they save us from too much gruesome depiction of things but they still make their point. They give a great explanation of the lead up to the genocide and how things could have been prevented. The upstairs is dedicated to previous genocides such as Namibia, Cambodia, the Balkans, and of course the Holocaust. Of course every time the world says "Never again" but for some reason we human beings can't seem to learn the lesson.
The very last section of the memorial is dedicated to the children of the Rwandan genocide. There are life size pictures of them on the wall, big, happy smiles on their faces. It lists individual details about them such as their favorite song or favorite food. Then at the end it says specifically how they died. Most were chopped up by machetes or bludgeoned to death. One little girl had her eye stabbed out, and a lucky few were just plain shot. It pretty much destroys you to see it.
There is so much poor governance, manipulation and repression of people, and just plain horrors occurring all over Africa. I am coming away right now feeling that for the most part it is hopeless. People have always committed atrocities on one another so why does anyone think we can change it? I am sure with some time away from it all I will take on a new, more hopeful perspective but I just don't feel that way now.
There was another genocide memorial I was going to go to while still in Rwanda. It is a church just out of town where lots of people were massacred. Remnants of clothing and blood stains are still there and the guy who does the tour is a survivor who was a child at the time and I guess he gives the gruesome details. I am 86ing this plan.
Tomorrow I think I will go to the market and have fun bargaining with the Rwandan women trying to buy batik fabric from them. They usually like to joke around with the Muzungu girls at the market and make fun of me, and they usually encourage me to play with their babies and kids. The market is usually hectic but fun and I have not yet been to the Kigali market.
Over and out til tomorrow.


  1. Go play with the kids and they'll instill the hope and put you back on the track toward a better perspective. They are the hope and what it's really all about. The adults are lost in apathy and fear. The children will insist upon, and endeavor to make, the necessary changes. Don't go anywhere near another memorial. They're depressing. I have not, and will not, go near a Viet Nam Memorial. They used to cause me to feel guilty for surviving. Life's too dam short for that.

    Go have fun with the kids. They'll enjoy it as much as you. Love You!!! Dad

  2. Heartbreaking is an under statement! Put it behind you and revel in the joy you and the kids bring to one another! Penny

  3. I'm gonna laugh If u bring one back with you. But I won't be very suprised:)