Saturday 6 July 2013

Genocide museum part 2, shopping then time with survivors. Days don’t get more mixed up than this!

With not much more of a lay in than the rest of the week, our first stop was two genocide museums just outside Kigali. Nyamata church was the site where thousands of local residents sought refuge and safety during the genocide. However their hopes of safety were short lived when the Hutu rebels attacked the church and thousands were killed with only a few survivors.  When walking into the site you get an errey feeling straight away and the atmosphere changes immediately. You can read about what happened in Nymata but it doesn’t hit home until you actually are able to see the bones and the damage left behind. Off the church there is a room where they held the Sunday services with the children, this was the site of where the brutal killing of children happened. The messages left behind really hit home to how random strangers can be affected by peoples deaths even when they don’t know them. Paul left an emotional message on behalf of the CRED foundation.
Next stop was shopping where we had the chance to buy some gifts for friends, family and ourselves. We would have left with no money if Nancy’s talent for bargaining had not come in handy. We tried not to knock the price down to much though cause it makes you feeling like your taking away their basic income. However we soon realized that shopping has a different flow to it then back home.
We also visited a community center that was set up in a community for orphans of the Genocide. We listened to some of their stories about what happened to them and gave them chance to ask us questions. I am glad that they wanted to share their stories but others didn’t feel up to the emotional struggle of sharing their stories. We meet one young man who was in his house when the murders came. They threw in hand grenades and thinking all were dead left. He told us he hid among his dead family for a day before finding refugee in some woods. Of 13 family members in the house he was the only one to survive. This shows that even after 19 years the tragic impact of the Genocide is still ever present, really hitting home as to the extent of the genocide. We played many games with them and left them with 4 cases of games and equipment to use in the center, but I wish we could have done more for them to help improve their lives. Doing some work with them made us feel like we had not only helped at the catch up center but we had also reached the wider community.

We had our final team meal together at a local pizza house and with a morning at church and then a day at the pool ahead tomorrow we are trying to put the long journey home to the back of our head.

James B and Jess S

hand grenades used to open the doors of the church

10,000 were killed in 3 days as they sort safety in this church


after shopping!

story time with a difference

learning about the genocide from the survivors

games with the community kids

1 comment:

Unknown said...

What a week you have all had, so very emotional and also happy times, you have all done the most beautiful thing in helping these wonderful people, some heart wrenching stories, and what an impact you must have had on the children, enjoy your last night in Rwanda, miss you Zac and can't wait to see you all our love mum, dad, jade, Aiden , sonny and ocean xxx