Saturday, April 4, 2009

First-Thanks everyone who left me wonderful, supportive comments on my last entry. I am feeling better, but am still feeling really burnt out. Through it all, I am stilll learning so much and my perspectives and views on what I thought I once knew have been completlely questioned and changed.

It is unbelievable what we are taught and what we take for the truth without pausing to question any of it. Everything we learn are all biased accounts of some form of the truth, and how many people really stop to think about why we are being taught these things. Afterall, history is written by those in power, never by those who have suffered. We met with a man who works in government here in Rwanda, who wrote a book called, Hotel Rwanda or the Tutsi Genocide as Portayed by Hollywood. It basically discredits everything that was shown in the film, and especially criticizes and discredits Paul Rusesabagina. It just blows my mind how easily the story of someone can be told, and pushed as truth. How he could be seen in the eyes of so many as this amazingly couragous heroic man, and it turns out that he fully took advantage of the situation and portrayed himself as someone who in reailty, was far from a hero. Everyone I have spoken with in Rwanda is so angry and frusterated at how he basically exploited those who suffered and reaped the benifits, when there are so many real life people who have done amazing things and saved many lives, but who go unnoticed and continue to simply live their lives...

Just something to think about-constantly question everything you are shown and think about who is feeding you this version of "truth."

Friday was our last day of official lectures. We are taking a three day trip to the Western part of Rwanda. I'm still feeling aprehensive about the upcoming week though-because starting Tuesday, it is mourning week-and really it is the whole month of April. I feel like it really isn't my place to be here during this time...

I'm looking forward to Friday and going back to Uganda...specifically Gulu to really be on my own.

Peace and Love,


  1. You my bright shinny light have learned someting very valuable. Yes sadly we are taught that what we see and hear is reality and what you have come to learn is that it is not so. Hopefully we are raising a generation of better people who question these so called facts and pushes to find a more acurate truth. Such and old soul you are and that is why it hurst so much. Keep learning and loving and respecting your surroundings. Talk to you tomorrow. With much love and pride. Mom & Dad

  2. Interesting that you mention, Hotel Rwanda today since I rented it last night, (paid to see it and later learned it was on PBS last night for free). Anyway, I cried and cheered my way through the movie. I am so disappointed to hear that the facts were greatly distorted in the film. I am wondering though if it brought an awareness to people in other countries of the horror the people their faced is it still somehow a good thing? I suppose telling the truth too is always a better thing...............but then Hollywood might not have been interested:( I would love to hear the "truth" from you and be interested in reading any books that you might suggest which give a clearer depiction on the tragic events that happened to these people.
    You are truth seeker and how lucky for us to have you in our lives. I am learning much and I thank you.
    Continue to stay safe.
    Much Love

  3. I am a scholar of Rwanda, having completed my PhD on the country's post-genocide programme of national unity and reconciliation.

    Rusesabagina is no hero, but then neither are the RPF and many of its loyalists. I urge to think carefully about its version of the truth as well. Please see Johan Pottier's "Re-imagining Rwanda" (Cambridge, 2002, particularly chapter 3).

    History is a contentious issue in Rwanda, and it is important to note that this RPF government uses it to its own advantage as much as previous regimes have done. For example, the genocide ideology and the divisionism it says are driving Rwanda apart is more likely a cover for the activities of the RPF in Congo. Please note there have been over 5.5. million civilian deaths there since the 1994 genocide ended. See Scott Straus' "The Order of Genocide" (Cornell, 2006).

    Please note that I am not anti-Tutsi, nor anti-Hutu. I am anti-violence. Ever. By any party. No exceptions.

  4. ps, I should have also mentioned that Gourevitch's (1998) "Leave None to Tell Story" recounts the praise that some of Rusesabagina's strongest critics, specifically, Senator Odette shares how Paul sent a car for her and her family and spirited them to safety in April 1994.

    My point is that it is important to understand the broader context, as well as the political motives of key actors, Rusesabagina and his critics, alike....

  5. I married a Ugandan man and love Uganda.
    We support 3 oprhaned siblings and a young woman who looks afrer them.
    Plus a young 13yr old who is at boarding school.
    We pay their rent,food, schooling, clothes and all their needs.
    I am trying to raise funds here in Adelaide South Australia.
    peace and love