Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Free Day!

Today there was nothing required and it was so nice to sleep until 9. I went to an impromptu church service led by some OLPC people for OLPC people and it was fun. One of the guys gave a short sermon and we sang several different songs, most of which I had never heard but played along.

I and many others really wanted to see the Genocide Museum here in Kigali and we arranged transportation to the location. The museum was really heavy. There were 3 different indoor sections: a history of Rwanda and the Genocide, a memorial/remembrance of the children of the Genocide and a genocide awareness exhibit to shed light on other genocides in recent history. Outdoors were gardens and several mass grave sites.

The history of the genocide was really interesting and sad at the same time. It was sick to see how systematic this was; there were plans in place to setup roadblocks in Kigali and begin killing 300 people every 20 minutes. We met some locals at the hotel the other night and they were saying that they fled to Uganda before things started happening and they were near the river that runs from Rwanda to Uganda. They told us how they saw countless bodies floating by, dogs eating the rotting flesh and people going down to take watches and jewelry off of the bodies. Some of the larger mass killings took place at churches with one church accounting for 20,000 deaths. Another church congregation thought they would be safe with their Hutu pastor however the pastor locked everyone inside and ordered the building to be bulldozed killing 2,000 people.

Upstairs at the museum was an exhibit about the children. There were lots of pictures and plaques giving a few facts about the children. The worst was seeing their last words, their last memories or how they died. It really is amazing how well the city has recovered despite having their infrastructure destroyed and having 1,000,000 people wiped out.

At night we went out to an Italian joint which was really good, despite them not understanding what we meant by sausage. Rwandan food isn’t bad, but it is the same thing at every meal. EVERY MEAL. I’m getting excited to head to Sao Tome soon.

-XO Mike


  1. Hi, Michael--

    I have been reading your terrific travelogue. The language you use makes pictures in one's mind. I am most anxious to see the photos.

    Uncle Doug and I think about you every day. Stay safe and have fun (safe fun!!!)

    Love, Aunt Kathy

  2. I worry about you being so close to such a turbulent area, but I'm sure you'll be fine, right? :)

  3. Did you order an iPhone? I received notice from AT&T that one was ordered. I know I didn't. Dad said he didn't. Please advise.