Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Genocide Remembered...

We visited the genocide memorial yesterday and it really brought us face-to-face with the horrors of the past. We learned much about how it was that the world watched as the genocide unfolded, the cold and calculated planning of the genocide and its bloody execution. The memorial is extremely well done and includes video testimony from survivors. Buried in the memorial gardens are the remains of 250,000 victims of the genocide, gathered there as a final resting place. The memorial was both exceptionally disturbing and tremendously moving.

While we were there we kept thinking how astonishing it is that all of this happened just 15 years ago, which means it's likely that almost every person living in Rwanda today (except perhaps for some young children) was affected by the genocide, and yet Rwanda is one of the safest and most orderly countries in Africa and there is little evidence today of the horrible violence that occurred in such recent history. How a country recovers psychologically from something like this and is able to progress so much in such a short period is difficult to comprehend.

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