Let's Get Down to Business

Day: Jan 1st & 2nd

Hello My Band of Merri Readers,

First Happy New Year! Being able to celebrate the new year in Rwanda again is a blessing and I am so thankful. Well on the 1st we were having a day of relaxation... which means we were rehearsing. This rehearsal was very helpful in getting our play (story) ready to be shown. Before we rehearsed we talked about how we were feeling about the Genocide Memorial Cite. What really has me thinking concerns the Propaganda. Can you imagine what positive things these smart men could do if they didn't plan mass murder? Like what if Hitler devoted his life to doing good... he was able to convince the whole German population that Jews were their enemy, what could he do if he wasn't do that? Jus thinking about that has me really puzzled. Another thing I learned this trip is the fact that Gaffafi built a Mosque in Rwanda and that his goal was to create a USA (United States of Africa). I don't think many American's know this is I found that very interesting.

We had lunch at Lac Rumira

We had lunch at Lac Rumira

Jan. 2nd

Today is emotional because we are going to Naymata Genocide Memorial Site. This is where thousands of Tutsis were killed by Hutu extremist, but what makes this really hard to handle is the fact that Naymata is a Church and at one point considered a safe spot. When the white priest were evacuated that was no longer the case and it lead to a horrific slaughter. When you enter the church you can see all the bullet holes in the walls and there is clothes of the victims. The real struggle comes when we heard the story of the young lady was raped, then killed, and since that was not enough they stuck a stick through you know where to her head. She is now buried inside the church out of a sign of respect. Naymata is an area of silence and peace surrounded by the songs and laughter of children and everyday life. 

Flowers on the back of a grave of some of the people who have been Identified. 

Flowers on the back of a grave of some of the people who have been Identified. 

What we also did on this day was go and visit two Co-Ops. One was a factory that produced corn and they helped the community out because the money goes back into the community.

One of the workers in the Co-Op.

One of the workers in the Co-Op.

Some of the machinery used  

Some of the machinery used  

It was very interesting to hear about how the factory grew. I cannot remember the specific numbers, but it was very impressive. Another Co-Op we saw was an all Women Basket Weaving Co-Op. We all went and bought some pretty cool baskets and other things because a portion of the money goes to the Co-Op and then the rest to the person who made the item. 

These few days have been a good warm up on how much heart stretching that is going to happen on this Trip.

Find Out What Happens Next Time... On the next episode of CPt. Sam's Blog!

Your's Truly,

Cpt. Samuel M. Merriman