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.