Glimpsing the Context

It’s raining in such a way as to bring new meaning to the word, forming a shroud between us and the rest of Kigali. So here we are, sitting in Jenny and Beth’s room, typing away to ourselves.

Early yesterday morning, we drove to Kigali from Muhanga. We had been invited to the British special consulate to meet with some of the senior staff at DfID Rwanda. The discussion naturally focused on the current context that DfID Rwanda finds itself in- DRC, Mitchell, Daily Mail etc.They spoke honestly and frankly, balancing the current challenges with the proven effectiveness of the Rwandan govt at delivering development outcomes. I was geeking out throughout.

We left the consulate and headed for the genocide memorial. It would require a better writer than I to articulate my response to the memorial and a wiser person to have worked out what that response actually is. What it did undoubtedly do was to provide a space for the beginning of a discussion between the group. As in South Africa, after visiting Robben Island, I came out of the memorial with an awareness that the Rwandans that we have met and will meet, went through that which is incomprehensible. That awareness comes and goes; there will be a fleeting, overwhelming glimpse and then the protective curtain between past and present will fall back into place, the clothes and baby shoes, nothing more than objects.

The curtain firmly in place, we went to get a burrito and then were dropped off at Moucecore, said goodbye to RDIS and settled in. Moucecore is internationally recognised for its peace and reconciliation programs and played an important role in empowering churches to confront the past and I look forward to the conversations and opportunities to learn that will present themselves in the coming weeks.

The rain has eased off now; we can see Kigali again.


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