Thursday, October 27, 2011


Recently I was interviewed for Johnson State's newspaper called The Basement Medicine. The article was entitled "Rwanda Bound" and it elaborated on my fundraising efforts as well as my cleat drive. It also gave a great description of the orphanage and what they're about. I'm excited to get the word out around campus so people know what I'm up to and where I'm going!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


In 2009 we spent time at several different genocide memorial sites. This was an extremely important part of the trip because it literally showed us how raw the genocide was in contrast to how Rwanda is in the midst of rejuvenating. The hope the Rwandans hold on to every day is the first reason I wanted to return. The Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre is a site where over 250,000 bodies are buried. The memorial also holds historical information, stories from the genocide, and pictures, clothing, and belongings of the victims. I found this story posted on a plaque outside the memorial:

"In my search for a hideout, I found Jérôme, his legs cut off. I could not leave him in this state. I tried to lift up Jérôme so that we could leave together, but the car of the commune stopped near me. It was full of machetes and other instruments of death. I lay Jérôme down on the ground and ran because a man got out of the burgomaster's car to kill me.

He finished Jérôme off.

I saw this when I looked back to see if anyone had followed me. I will never forget the way Jérôme's face was filled with desperation.

Whenever I think about it, I cry all day long."

Eric, age 13

A view of the mass graves and the gardens surrounding at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Getting the Ball Rolling

Hey folks!
 I have just set up this blog to start getting people in the loop on what is going on with my trip and what I'm up to in preparation. As of now I have roughly $2000 saved for my travels. That's almost enough money for my round-trip plane ticket. The total amount of money I will need for this trip is roughly $4500. I'm working with my dad to set up a link that will be posted on here for people to donate money directly to my travels and living expenses while in Rwanda.

Apart from the whole money situation, I have been running a cleat drive to collect cleats for the boys in the orphanage I will be volunteering at. The orphanage is called Les Enfants De Dieu, locates just outside the country's capitol of Kigali. It's an all boys orphanage that is run entirely by the student body. You can read more about the orphanage here: I reached out to a high school student from Peoples Academy in Morrisville, Vermont to help me with the cleat drive I and to raise money to have the cleats shipped over. More information on the progress of this project to come!

My friend Elena, who traveled with me in 2009, is spending the entire academic year with the orphanage. We will both be teaching English, and working with the students on their studies. I am also planning to spend time at a pre-school we like to call "Teddy's." Also located in the capitol, this is a school that 390 students attend, and there are only 7 classrooms. The building has no electricity or running water, a tin roof containing multiple holes, clay walls which crumble easily, and a floor made of dirt that creates a lot of dust on hot days and mud when it rains. I will be working with these students on their English skills as well.

Thanks for checking out the new blog, and I'll keep in touch with any new steps I have taken in this whole process!