Return to Rwanda

Kigali, center of town, as seen from Gisozi.
Kigali, center of town, as seen from Gisozi.

RWANDA has always been on my mind.

After 17 years away, I came to visit the country during the summer of 2011, one year before I was supposed to finish my master’s degree at USC. After close to a month of roaming the hilly country, visiting family in Kigali, Ruhengeri, Gitarama and Gisenyi, I didn’t want to leave when it came to say goodbye. Again.

So I promised myself that one day and anyone who would listen that I would find my way back. I mentioned it here and I alluded to it in numerous tweets, Facebook posts and conversations with friends, family and colleagues and I tried to remain patient hoping the universe would conspire to help me get what I want. Just as I’d read in The Alchemist, it was only a matter of time.

In me, I felt the need not only to get to know my roots, but to one day contribute to the growth of the country. How? I wasn’t sure. But like English novelist Margaret Drabble once said, “when nothing is sure, everything is possible.” That quote has always brought me comfort.

Fast forward to today, I write my first post while sitting in my new neighborhood in Kacyiru, Kigali. What brings me here? A great work opportunity as the Educational Liaison for the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, working primarily to promote the use of their online educational tool, IWitness, throughout the country.  What also brings me here is the chance to get to know my country, my family, my roots and perhaps, myself.  While I’ll be making a few trips back to the States, my focus remains on this small East African country. Rose in Rwanda was created to chronicle my adventures throughout the country and this time around, I thought I would do so largely through photos.  Taking a pause from La Rwandaise,  Rose in Rwanda will be my new online home while I’m in the country and I invite you along for the ride.

For each and everyone of you who supported me in this decision, and you know who you are, I thank you.

If you’re ever here, look me up and we’ll grab some brochettes and beer. Until next post.


7 Replies to “Return to Rwanda”

  1. Hey Rose, I’m Heidi. I just left Rwanda in June after two years of living there, and with it a piece of my heart. Starting a grad program at USC and was googling trying to find out info about the Rwandan community in LA. I’d love to meet some people to reminisce, speak Kinyarwanda and see if it’s possible to get isombe here. My search brought up your blog and I was curious if you had any advice for me. Best wishes! Heidi.

  2. I will admit, i had no idea what to think about Rwanda. This blog is definitely shedding some positive light. It’s probably climbing the list of places I want to visit in the near future :-). Keep updating.

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