Well I thought I had posted this already but I guess not so here are my reflections on Friday.
We had a full day on Friday starting with a presentation about the education system in Rwanda at GEI the travel agency we are working with. It was interesting to learn how things work here. They have a 9 years basic education that is required and free and is separated into 6 years of Primary and then 3 years of secondary education. This is followed by 3 more years of secondary education that are optional and not free, mostly because the government can't yet afford to pay for all of the students though some kids are paid for based on test scores. The Government also pays for the top 2000 kids each year to go to University. Learning about their education system helped us reflect on our system and the problems with it and it was interesting to see how Rwanda has the potential to surpass the U.S. in how their system is organized.
We then went for a tour of the city of Kigali. The view was beautiful and the city is so clean. It's hard to imagine how this same city was the same place where the atrocities of the genocide occurred in 1994. As we went through the city I couldn't help but marvel at how it works. It's organized chaos. I don't know if I'll ever be able to understand how cities develop grow and manage to work. I am spoiled by Buffalo with its perfect grid work of streets and amazing Olmstead park system. It's crazy but despite the seeming disorder it functions and in fact Kigali is extremely well organized compared to many cities in Africa. I also continue to admire the houses and how nice and simple they are. They are homes. It makes one think about all the criteria that we try to set for our Houses in America.
In the afternoon we went to the National genocide memorial in Kigali. This is the location of several mass graves where thousands of bodies were relocated to from all over. Though it was just big slabs of concrete. it gave a sense of the enormity of what happened in 1994. I did not have much of an emotional reaction to this place and I felt bad because I felt that I should have but Drew has assured us that this is okay there isn't a right or wrong reaction, everybody reacts to things differently. There is much more to come, emotions will be there even if I hide them behind a stoic facade. It was very interesting to learn more about the country's young history in detail at the museum. There is so much we have to learn from other countries that we don't know about in America.
I concluded the day with a calm reflective bible study and Prayer with Carl. I look forward to continuing to do this with him.
Until next time. Amahoro! - Peace