Mr. Kagame, What Happened to My Rwanda?

As the Democratic Republic of Congo turned 50 and the world looked to see the “highlights” (or the world in its photos) I  remembered Rwanda. I remembered the place where I feel in love with the color green.   The possibility of green, happened for me in Rwanda.   The hills.   The hills.   The land of a thousand hills.  The lush, productive land  inspired me to have my own little plot of land.

In  Rwanda,  I learned a language that questioned the dexterity of my tongue, where the best potatoes seem to naturally thrive and where people were just Rwandese (Rwandan) to me and where I came to see what the small stabs of divisionalism can do in the country side.

Rwanda, the land of many hills,  offered great coffee, where order and cleanliness were maintained, where plastic bags no longer  had a place  and where, if I am honest, freedom was (even at that time) questionable.

As I was surrounded by love, I never questioned the price that came with order, cleanliness, and the country that could do no wrong. Maybe I did not want to know what the soldiers that I saw and heard at night were doing in my village.  Maybe I did not want to understand the language when my friends told me they wish their waitress and waiter had died rather than to serve them food.  Maybe I did not want to understand my colleagues calling my good friends DOGS  for what my “other  friends” may have done to their family.

I wanted to remember the Rwanda  of loving  friends, lush hills, amazing coffee and tea.   I guess somehow as much as I wanted to forget the “other Rwanda” it has never left.

President Kagame,  Where did those soldiers come from the nights I could not sleep in my village?  Why did the women cry and wail in the middle of the night?   Why did my friends smile gradually leave and only leave constant shakes and sudden glares?   Why could I no longer find the street kids that were sniffing glue around the corner from BCK? Or near the ice cream shop on the  main road in Kigali?

President Kagame,   Where is the Rwanda that I fell in love with?   Where is the Rwanda that made me hopeful?   What happened to my Rwanda?


In Kigali....

In Kigali

My friend in Kibuye

My friend in Kibuye

Lake Kivu from Mugonero

Lake Kivu from Mugonero

A man who showed me, that anything is possible and now I finally understand

A man who showed me, that anything is possible and now I finally understand


~ by travelling womanists on September 30, 2010.

One Response to “Mr. Kagame, What Happened to My Rwanda?”

  1. i’ve never been to Rwanda…but I catch glimpses of it through your writing 😉

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