How does one prepare to go to Rwanda? How do I, in just under a couple of weeks, prepare to put my shoes on Rwandan soil? Just before the long rains start.
They call it the Land of a Thousand Hills, or because of the perfect weather Land of Eternal Spring. Mountains and volcanoes. Mountain gorillas. I’ve heard it’s a beautiful country. Beautiful, and, when I looked at a map, I realized it’s remarkably small.
It’s impossible not to think about the genocide in 1994. A tiny country with a current population of about 8 million had one million, yes, ONE MILLION people killed. And there’s no way around it. It’s a country of survivors. And orphans. And refugees.
In the community I’ll be visiting, all of the school girls were killed. ALL OF THEM. How scarred they must be. Scarred for the rest of their lives. Maybe some even regret having survived when so many were killed.
Maybe there is no way to prepare. Maybe all I can do is go with compassion. Maybe tears should well up in my eyes. Maybe...