Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Day 18 & 19: Coming Full Circle and the Long Road Home

Hey all! Sorry for the delay in my final 2 days of postings. Between running around and seeing the sites we missed our first time in Kigali, shopping for more stuff to bring home, and trying to pack all that stuff, it just wasn't possible to blog. Now I'm well rested and have fast internet, so I can post about my last day and a half in Rwanda.

So we all got up and had some breakfast at the guest house in Musanze and left the guest house by 10am. From there it was a short, paved, 2 hour drive down to Kigali. Once we were there we went to the hotel, grabbed some lunch and then split up. Previously we had missed a planned memorial visit so Dr. Gaydosh and I took one driver to that memorial while everyone else went shopping. Unfortunately it was a Sunday, so most stuff was closed. They couldn't get us into the main building, but after some "persuasion" the well armed police officer took us for a walk through the outside part of the memorial. There are some pictures below to give you an idea of the memorial. On the way back into town we stopped the an infamous ETO school, which is still used as a school today, but was the site of a UN base that house refugees, until the UN pulled out, leaving the refugees to be massacred. Below there is a picture that has the signage, which should provide a good idea of what happened. It was a little weird taking pictures there because it is an active university. Students came up and translated to the guard what I wanted to do, and they guard let me in, but the students looked unhappy that I wanted to take pictures, which is the first time during the whole trip that I felt unwelcome at a genocide site. 

From there we went back to the Kigali Memorial Museum to find out if we could buy 20 year anniversary banners from anyone. The guy there put us in contact with a man who said he could make them. I wanted one for myself and to use when I go and lecture, and Dr. Gaydosh wanted one for the HGS room. It will be interesting to see if in 20 years where the country is, and if the banner still resides in that room. 

The following day we went ran around and packed and then waited at the airport for the banner guy to come drop them off. Luckily he showed up in the middle of a rain storm and gave us the banners minutes before we needed to board our flight. From there it was over 20 hours of travel to get back to the U.S. Coach wasn't bad, and Bethany and I kept each other entertained on the trip, laughing many times at things that were probably only funny to us. Once we got back I forced myself to stay awake and then finally passed out around 10. I plan in a few days to write a reflective post on my impressions, etc. now that I'm back in the states, but wanted to finish off the actual day to day part of the blog first. Below are pictures of the memorial and the school.

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