Abroad in Africa -Genocide and Aftermath

Hey there folks. Haven’t written in a while, so I thought that you might want to see an article that I had published in my school newspaper.

“Well, the thing is, that probably no more than 500,000 people were killed.” John Floyd leaned forward, took another bite of his kung pao chicken, and attempted to explain why his client was not guilty of helping to incite the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

I listened with distaste and fascination while he spoke fast. The distaste came because I knew the facts-his client, Hasan Ngeze was the publisher of a newspaper that exhorted people to kill their neighbors. There is no question what the paper said, Ngeze was a brutal and clever person, one of the chief instigators of the genocidal regime. The fascination came because his version of Rwandan history was much different than I had learned before I arrived in Rwanda. At this point, I was not sure what to believe.

Here are the facts: on April 6th, 1994 a plane carrying the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi was shot down just outside of Kigali International Airport. Who shot it down was in dispute, but what is not in dispute is that […read more…]

Rwanda to the Congo to Uganda to the Media Trial

I’m back and I haven’t written in so long because we’ve been traveling a lot. I’ll have to come back to add more about some of the things I’ve seen-some of the horrible horrible atrocities I’ve witnessed to some of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen, but right now I’ll update you with this short time briefly what I experienced.

Rwanda: I saw a lot of dead bodies. Witnessed a lot of places where thousands upon thousands were slaughtered. I supposed I should say that we travelled throughout a lot of the country and saw many places where people have and are still being slaughtered. Also, a lot of literature is one sided and now I know a second side which was, at first, difficult to believe.

Congo: I saw Goma, a city of lava. Went to a refugee camp for people from Rwanda and the Congo which was as I expected. People packed on top of each other for years. Where is all the money going? Oh, that’s right-into the pockets of the UN, IGO’s, NGO’s and their brand new cars, houses, vacations, etc.

Also, I swam in Lake Kivu which was like bath water because of the […read more…]

Kigali, Rwanda

We arrived in Kigali last night. I am really emotional everytime I really think about what happened, and I find myself looking for that same displaced feeling I finally found days after I went to Oswiecim Concentration Camp in Poland. I’m publishing something Brian wrote because he grasps the feelings brilliantly.

Brian O’Neill

June 18th, 8:30 pm

Sitting on the balcony of the hotel. It is not late, but it is dark and I’m tired and the heart of Kigali shines subdued below. Yes, so: we’re here. Rwanda. It seems strange to finally be here; to see it. I’ve pictured it so many times, in so many ways – a tiny spot on a map, a detalied map, it’s hills, Kigali. I’ve imagined what it looks like, imagined myself here, imagined the genocide. And now I’m looking at it, finally.

The sun set as our minibus flew around the hills leading from the border. Dark came hard and fast. The headlights would shine momentarily on an object efore speeding on- endless lush greenery, punctuated for an instant by a face, freeze-frame body caught walking or staring or talking. It would catch houses, ne alone, or several in a row, some […read more…]

Packing for Africa

So I started making a list of things NOT to bring to Africa:

An American Flag A “Shell Oil” Baseball Hat A Deep Clipboard, compliments of S. Andy Schneider* DeBeers Diamond Rings An Elephant Gun My bag for Ivory

Now-things I hope not to bring back from Africa:

Rabid Monkey Typhoid Scabies Leopard Skin Malaria Carrying Mosquitos

And Finally, things I hope not to cause in Africa:

Death of Traveling Companion Overthrow of President (_______) Draining of Lake Tanganyika End of Tanzania/Zanzibar Union Hunger Embarassment to George W. Bush

*Side story: So, some people have pocket protectors, but Andy Schneider has a deep clipboard, that he likes to call his “portable desk.” When shopping with him, he would invariably take out his clipboard, pull out various mysterious sheets and write. You can imagine what that looked like in Victories Secret, as he was mysteriously taking notes. The best part of it was the fact that he was wearing gym shorts with an Old Navy T-Shirt (of course with a picture of the American flag) and looked like a gym teacher. Quote of the day: Andy enthusiastically stated, “Now I can carry around all my notebooks, pens, swiss army knife in […read more…]

Travel to Africa (In Shallah)

I’ve joined the blog party too!!!

Now, my life will be exposed on the internet! YES!

In a few days, perhaps I’ll be traveling to Tanzania and Rwanda. Preparation? Of course I’m not ready just yet. But, hey, am I ever going to be ready?