Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Post from Kigali III: Remembering at Breakfast

The strawberries at breakfast this morning were a bright, blood red – as strawberries should be. Their juices had stained the other fruit around them, leaving reddish-pinkish trails that settled at the bottom of the big, glass bowl.

I hesitated having some as I remembered:

  • I remembered what I have read about the genocide and what I am currently reading now in Dallaire
  • I remembered the history, the pictures, the very graphic video clips that I saw at the museum
  • I remembered what I was doing in May 1994 – I was struggling with the joys and challenges of being a new mother, including breast feeding. I remembered because one of the survivors described seeing a baby, just a couple of months old, feeding itself on its mother’s breast. She, the mother, was already dead.

I chose something else, not the fruit salad.

Hadn't meant to write this as I am still 'processing' but the strawberries really shook me up this morning. Just that splash of colour.

I hope that those who read this won’t misunderstand my reflections on being here. I guess this is my way of dealing with what happened then now. My own way of understanding - though I am not sure if I can or ever will.

I also think I need to say that my reflections are in no way influenced by the 'moods' or 'feelings' encountered while here. In fact Kigali is a city that is more peaceful than my own ‘home town’ of Kingston and the Rwandans are a pleasant, friendly people. I think they do deserve a lot of credit for dealing with the issues e.g what is now being done through the local community courts (gacacas), or through their education systems and not go the route of general civil war as I think a lot of countries would have done.


Nana Yaw Asiedu said...

Your posts on Rwanda are terrific reads! I especially like...love how you swing from history (the unfortunate genocide) to the present beautiful, sparsely populated, green, hilly, progressive, tolerant Rwanda! Please don't stop.

Denise said...

Wow Nana Yaw - this is by far the quickest response I have gotten to a post!
Thanks so much for your comments - much appreciated!