Thursday, March 12, 2009

Butare, Rwanda

I really feel the need to start off by expressing how unbelievably beautiful Rwanda is. I am pretty sure that this is the most breathtaking place I have ever been.

We arrived in Butare Tuesday evening, and I already had an idea of the place we were going to be staying, but we were never fully informed of it's history. We have asked, but everyone seems reluctant to go into the history or even discuss it. So of course, the first night here I slept maybe an hour because I freaked myself out thinking of all of the things that could have happened and let my mind get carried away with my imagination. I tried looking up some information online, but havn't had any luck. I think because I learned so much about the genocide before I came, it is having more of an immediate impact on me and all I can't stop picturing the genocide. I keep wondering how such aweful violence can happen in such a beautiful place...

We walked to the university yesterday and hopefully we will get our student ID's soon so that we can use the internet and check out books. We also had our first lectures today, which were really interesting.

Overall Rwanda has been extremely different from Uganda. Aside from the beauty, the infrastructure is really nice, and there are a lot more inniciatives to keep the country clean and are moving towards more development. The town we are staying in for the next week and a half is really small and sort of eerily quiet. No one is on the streets past 10pm and people sort of have been keeping to themselves-not as eager to talk as people were in Gulu. I have really enjoyed being able to practice my french-although it is still really difficult to communicate and understand with the different accents.


  1. I am glad you are getting to see many sides of each country. It is nice that there is so much beauty in an area that has had so much death and devistation. Take it all in and get some sleep! Do not stress to much about the Country's history, it is a new day and you will be just fine!
    LOVE YOU!!!
    MIS YOU!!!
    Mom & Dad

  2. Michelle,
    Mallory was/is home and at the top of my "help me list" was for her to set me up to be able to comment on your blog.........and here I am! First off I love the soccer idea, WOW! AMAZING! I will see what I can do to help in gather up some funds. If nothing else I will hit Mr. T. up for a couple of dollars and we will donate to this cause. I read what you write and am amazed at your thoughtfulness in regards to your surroundings. You represent all of us while you are a guest in these countries and I am thrilled to be represented by someone who is as thoughtful as you. I wish all American travelers would do us the same courtesy. I look forward to "traveling" with you!
    Much Love, Safe Journey, Big Hug,

  3. Hey Meeche, wow, catching up the last 3 blogs. You are so special. The gift you offer these people, yourself, is the best gift ever. You are an inspiration to us all, to educate ourselves, and take action. Soccer is so much fun, and I'm sure these girls will appreciate your efforts and enjoy and learn. I chatted with Cathy Lee, and she mentioned Dr. Tregillus and her daughter traveled to Africa and played soccer with young girls also. I will have Cathy contact Dr. Tregillus and see if she has any information for you, anything to help, or guide you in your venture. As I have said before, I could not be prouder of my niece. THE BEST BIRTHDAY MORNING WAS HEARING YOUR VOICE WISHING ME HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALL THE WAY FROM AFRICA....AWESOME. So wonderful to HEAR your voice. Miss you and I send you strength and love. Please be safe Meeche, I love you tremendously!! A. Gina

  4. Hey Michelle- I think that you are doing something truly amazing and applaud you for making the investment that you have. I also was excited to hear that you were trying to get a soccer team together- that is awesome! Of course I would have to comment on that!!! You are a spcial - be safe and cannot wait to see pictures- love ya pj and bergen

  5. Hi Michelle--
    After reading your most current blog I thought I would share a comforting thought. I have learned a lot about the Hutu and Tutsi. Many atrocities have overtaken both groups, most likely due to the leadership in the area, but there were innumerable occasions where a select few would take shelter amongst the opposing group. As unbelievable as it may be they guarded them with their lives. Like me they too were Jehovah's Witnesses. Since we take the commandment "to love" very seriously some have put themselves on the line to protect the other. I truly appreciate the love you are showing to this very unfortunate group. Be safe and continue your pursuit to make a difference- as you will! Hugs