What’s going on in Rwanda

Since going to Rwanda, I’ve been more interested in keeping tabs on what is going on in the country.  I set up a Google Alert and have been getting some interesting things.  I’ve been letting these build up, so it is time to clear out my browser.

  • Bikes to Rwanda and Wells for Life were two charities working in Rwanda that I found.  While I like the Bikes charity, the video in this blog post is filled with familiar yellow water containers that I saw rural Rwandans lugging along the road.
  • This journalist goes to see some gorillas in Rwanda and mentions the Mountain Gorilla’s Nest hotel that we stayed in to see the golden monkeys.  He describes it as “an unsympathetic mishmash of a place”, but I prefer their rates to the £347 (US$687) a night in the posher hotel he used. Did I mention Rwanda isn’t cheap?
  •  Can the Congo Save Itself? talks about the fighting along the Congo-Rwanda border. I met a couple at the Serena who traveled around Africa quite a bit. They were the first to say what others have confirmed many times since: Rwanda is a one of the safest, quietest places in Africa. “A good place to start” was how they put it, with vivid examples from other countries to reinforce the idea.  Even though it is fairly safe, the guards we had on our trip to see the monkeys hinted at the dangers along the borders.
  • What is Unspoken in Rwanda talks about the beauty of Rwanda and the constant awareness that some of these people are former genociders. This isn’t the chaotic Africa I am used to!I just can’t comprehend how everyone can be so friendly but capable of genocide. The genocide is everywhere and nowhere. How do people go on?
  • Then genocide in Rwanda 14 years ago are something Kenyans and Zimbabweans are thinking about.  Evidently along the lines of “Do we have to get that bloody to get democracy?”:

    At one point, a stunned delegate from Rwanda was even asked whether the genocide in Rwanda had been worth it as it had paved the way for a more democratic and open society that was based on progressive, egalitarian laws. He responded by saying that the price Rwanda had paid for its peace and democracy was too high, not just in terms of the cost of reconstruction, but because it was written in the blood of hundreds of thousands of his country’s men, women and children.

  • A Catholic Priest was convicted of participating in the 1994 genocide.. His participation was particularly gruesome — he had his church, which was filled with 1500 parishioners — bulldozed.  Of course, there are many people who don’t like the institution of the Roman Catholic church and they jumped on this case as further fuel for their hatred.  This is the sort of person who will tell us that Mother Teresa is evil and the pope is a Nazi.  Many of these people misunderstand the purpose of the church, but, there are those who understand it perfectly well and are just opposed to it. Arguing with willful ignorance is just as futile as attempting to persuade those who understand but disagree they they are wrong, so I won’t attempt either here.

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