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.

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