Still Thinking about Rwanda
Why did the world close its eyes for so long to the suffering of so many helpless people? Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that what happened in Rwanda defies comprehension, defies explanation, and defies all conventional remedies. Perhaps it is because there is no frame of reference for such a cataclysmic event. It is too complex, too remote, too unthinkable.I've been reading everything I can get my hands on about Rwanda. I keep trying to understand why. Why did everything spin out of control? And the more I read, the closer I come to believing there is no why. There's no answer. It's time for me to accept that.
- Rosamond Halsey Carr in Land of a Thousand Hills
I wrote a newsletter article at work today about basket makers in Rwanda. What I see in my head is a woman walking along the road with a lidded basket balanced on her head. It may contain bananas, millet, or sweet potatoes--a gift for a neighbor, a family member, or a newly married bride. Lidded baskets are rooted deeply in the country’s history. Made of coiled sisal, the designs and techniques are passed from mother to daughter. From mother to daughter. From mother to daughter.
Life in Rwanda goes on. Children play. Women get water. Crops are harvested. You can't tell that a genocide happened when you're there.
Everything. Seems. So normal.