Archive for November 12th, 2010

From a hotel in Rwanda

I sit here after three days of amazing tours, meetings and meals provided by the wonderful people of UMUSEKE.  “Umuseke” is a word with two meanings; first it is a descriptor of a bamboo shoot that is very straight.  The second meaning is that of ‘aurora’ – the colorful light before dawn.  As we bumped down a road in the Toyota pickup truck, Emmanuel at the wheel, Mariette explained this to me.  The two definitions work really well together to capture what they are trying to provide for the kids, and for their country.

Look at these kids!  When I arrived two days ago after a crazy-exhausting set of flights from Stockholm – Rome – Addis Ababa – Entebbe – Kigali, the UMUSEKE team was waiting for me at the airport.  They checked to see if I was not too tired, and then we all (5 of us packed in the Toyota) went directly over to the Ecole APAPER (a primary education school, privately funded).  Now, all the kids were on holiday this week, but the principal (Pierre Muvunyi) and several of the children were waiting for me.

After a tour of the school (provided by the kids) and a game we all played in a circle in the courtyard, the children took turns telling what ‘peace’ means to them.   Their English was remarkably good.    The work that UMUSEKE is doing with them is essential to re-establishing a peaceful society here after all the pain they have been through.

Will send more as I can – one last funny tidbit; it was really cool to hear Mariette and others in the truck (Clement, Constantin, Emmanuel, Jacqueline) talking in the native language and occasionally hear the words “Peace Train” pop out amidst the rapid, and very foreign to me, cadence!


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