It is close to 2 am as I pen down our experiences so far in Rwanda. A country where homogeneity and diversity exists in equal parameters. Though Rwanda has witnessed difficult times combating genocide and political unrest in early 90’s, it has come a long way today when everyone speaks a similar language of development. From public servants to entrepreneurs, the constituents have demonstrated a leap of faith in governance and foresee a common 20-20 vision of sustainable growth.
It is equally amazing to witness the role international community has played to bring about prosperity in this small nation. The foreign nationals working on development projects have contributed immensely to create an amalgamated international culture. So far in our short stay, we have discovered fabulous cuisines and hang out places with equally amazing ambience across Kigali. Equally impressive has been the conduct of people and their taste for cars!!
Our trip started on a more serious note when the entire group visited Kigali genocide memorial to pay homage to victims of 1994 genocide. I am pretty sure it was difficult for most of us to witness a mass grave of 250,000 people including thousands of children and women. The memorabilia’s, stories and pictures immersed us in that somber atmosphere.
Soon we were seating in Hotel Des Mille Collines with palatable three course meal. Interesting enough was the history of this hotel which housed more than 2000 refugees in 1994 to save them from genocide. Disputes aside, the movie Hotel Rwanda depicted the story of Paul Rusesabagina, Manager of Des Mille Collines.
Later in the day we took a guided city tour visiting memorials, museums and city centres. It was fascinating to witness the beauty of Kigali from high points of the city. While at biological museum some GW kids were busy posing in front of scenic view, the intellectuals were more interested in knowing the history of recently skinned half a ton giant alligator.
While we were heading back, a book seller appeared near the bus shouting to sell Economist, suddenly an anonymous voice chirped – “We have one inside the bus” 😛