Gorillas and Genocide

Ruhengeri Travel Blog

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Again, internet problems...this will now be short and sweet.

Day 1
Bumpy road for 4 hours in a matatu from Uganda to Rwanda.  Crucified my knees.  No hot shower when arrived because the tank only supplied 4 hot showers.  Mardy arse.

Day 2
Gorillas.  Very cool.  Short trek of 1.5hrs through crop flower fields and thick jungle.  Very muddy, slippery, full of nettles and evil red ants.  First gorilla we saw was the silver back.  Coolest experience was when the black back (lesser male than silver back but still massive in size) came about 1-1.5m away from me.  Alice almost dive-rolled into the bushes when he turned to look at us.  Got some great photos but missed one of the babies copying the silver back move - beating his chest while standing on a little log.  Very cute.

Day 3
Genocide museum in Kigali, capital of Rwanda.  Incredibly sad.  It made me think a lot about humanity and how we are just completely inhumane sometimes.  This genocide happened in 1994 predominantly - the Hutus against the Tsutsis, so anyone over the age of about 14 will remember how their family was torn apart.  I could understand how a charismatic leader could turn people against others, and even lead on to killing, but I couldn't understand how it could lead to the horrific massacre, mutilations and rape that happened.  Especially when the enemy is your friend or family.  There was a short story about a young child being machetted in his mothers arms.  But one thing that weirded me out was a video I watched.  A woman was talking about her younger sisters being chased down in the street, one of which was called Angelique.  No other victim throughout the whole museum was named.
There was also information about other genocides over the world.  The one that struck me the most was during the 2nd World War against the Armenians.  75% of the population were killed.  To start with many were hung and shot.  As the persecution progressed women and children were banished into the desert to starve to death.  There was a horrific photo of a young boy lying dead on the street after starvation.  He literally looked like a skeleton with skin wrapped over the top.

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Ruhengeri
photo by: vickie-lou