Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Thousand Hills

Kampala they say is built on 7 hills, Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, a thousand. After living next to this beautiful country for years now, Jeff, myself, and Rachel decided to drive over and spend a few days visiting, sans kids!

One of the things we wanted to see in Kigali was the Memorial Centre. The centre itself is very well done; the information is very clear and informative, taking you from colonization to after the 100 days of genocide. The spot they chose for this memorial is a resting place to more than 250,000 people. There are graphic photos, video of survivors telling their stories, items of clothing, weapons and even skulls in the different rooms you walk through, making it very real and hard to see. 

We also went to the former Rwanda Army barracks where the 10 Belgian UN officers were held prisoner and then eventually killed. It's now a memorial; the building has never been repaired or restored, so you can still see all the bullet holes. We met a young man named Geoffrey there. He showed us around the memorial, explaining better the pictures we were looking at, and even shared his own story, how at 9 years old he hid out in one of the churches in Kigali until he was rescued.

Although there was a lot that was hard to see, we're thankful for the opportunity, it's something we will never forget. We're also glad that we had some time to spend with Rachel before she goes home to Vancouver (in just 4 weeks!) and enjoy the beautiful city of Kigali!! It is so unlike Kampala; it's clean, organized, and very quiet!! We had time to drive around and look at different neighborhoods, try a few restaurants and get coffee a few times from our favorite spot, Bourbon Cafe. It's an American chain  with great coffee, salads, sandwiches, desserts and even real ice-cream, which we only sampled, but it was delicious!!

We're definitely not in Kampala!!

1 comment:

Bec Shulba said...

wow - thanks for sharing these pics.