Today was draining, partly due to the fact that no-one arrived at the apartments until 2 am this morning and everyone was expected to be up and ready by 9 am. As it was a Sunday and the Catch-Up-Centre is only open on Weekdays (so was not running lessons today), it was decided that were going to be visiting the Rwanda Genocide Museum in the morning. Although we were only there for a few hours, the experience was unforgettable and harrowing. Not many of our group knew the full extent of the horrors that took place during the genocide. The museum itself was full of videos detailing first person accounts of atrocities- many of which were beyond comprehension. The long and short of it was that in 1994 after years of tension and prejudice the Rwandans classified as “Hutus” massacred the Rwandans classified as “Tutsis” in an brutal fashion- in total around one million Tutsis were murdered. The personal and touching stories were heart breaking to ready, however many of our group found that the most heart breaking part of the museum was its children exhibition displaying only a few of many children who got murdered during the genocide. It was difficult learning about the suffering of the people who lost their families to the genocide and our hearts went out to the families.
It is, however, difficult to imagine that Rwanda could have ever been plagued by such monstrosity. We have found Kigali to be a beautiful city and its people personable and charming. Despite Rwanda’s brutal history the country has definitely used the experience to better itself and ensure that such horrors do not repeat themselves. The trip to the museum was intended to give us a greater understanding of the past of Rwanda (so that it would prepare us for stories the children may wish to express). Although it was an emotional experience, it was certainly an eye opener and was very useful.
Following our trip to the museum we returned to the apartments. On the whole our rooms are incredibly comfortable (mosquitos notwithstanding) and the Rwandan ladies who are cooking for us are incredibly talented. After lunch we went to visit the Catch-Up-Centre, (with a detour to collect Daisy from the airport!) to see where we will be teaching. The classrooms are very bare but we’re confident that we will have a lot of fun working with the children, some of whom we met during our visit today. We are looking forward to a busy day of teaching tomorrow.
Missing everyone from home
Sarah and Genie