Lake Kivu & Kigali
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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
I move North, winding through the stunning mountains on perfectly paved roads. From the minute I glimpse mighty Lake Kivu I know I have found a great thing. This massive lake is pristine, and once again I can see the DRC on the far shore, ever present.
I find a fantastic place to camp on the ground of a hotel right on the shore. Swimming is blissful, and I almost have a heart attack when a bird of prey swoops down and snatches the sandwich right out of my hand. I didn’t see or hear it coming, and it’s quite the shock. He and his friends sit in nearby trees screeching loudly, clearly wanting me to provide them with more lunch.
In the morning I move inland to the capital city of Kigali. Like all of Rwanda it’s extremely clean and organized, and the skyline of towering glass skyscrapers is very modern.
The Genocide Memorial is extremely well done, and a very moving place to be. I feel an enormous range of emotions as I move through the building reading about the conditions that lead up to the genocide, what actually transpired, the aftermath, how the world responded and what we can do in the future to prevent this kind of thing happening ever again.
It’s heartwarming to see how Rwandans have come together to grieve, forgive, and build their country into the huge success it now clearly is. It’s clear they never want to forget the genocide, but rather keep it close to their hearts to remember lost ones, and to remember to never let it happen again.
While driving in Central America a backpacker traded books with me and I read the heart-wrenching story of the genocide told by Canadian General Roméo Dallaire, the commander of the UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda at the time. Dallaire pleads with the UN to intervene and help prevent the slaughter of a million people in one hundred days – and the UN does nothing.
I can not more highly recommend his book – Shake Hands With The Devil: The Failure Of Humanity In.... From $17.39 on Amazon.