I am finally in Rwanda! I have experienced many of the emotional highs and lows of initial culture shock, but I am finding that each day I feel a little more adjusted. When I have woken up missing some insignificant things (like my sink) and some important things (like my family), I walk outside to brush my teeth and I am greeted by the thousand hills with their thousand red roofs, of which I am living right in the middle. I just can’t get enough of it and I know there is no place I would rather be. . .
My time spent with CARSA’s (Christian Action for Reconciliation and Social Assistance) staff has been equally as enriching. I can’t get over how I have this opportunity to be here, learn from and work with these people. They have set aside time to sit and talk with me, both sharing and listening. When I ask how they began working with CARSA, they laugh and say it is a long story. I then get to hear some of their lives. One of the staff members shared with me how his family hid Tutsi’s in their house during the 1994 genocide, but then his father was still accused of murder and taken to jail (he has since been released). My friend said he dealt with great guilt for wishing he could have done more. He wanted to do something to stop the hatred and violence. Today, he works with CARSA, facilitating trauma healing workshops and allowing victims and perpetrators the opportunity to reconcile. I sat with my eyes and ears wide open in awe. I know no other way to describe them but as heroes.
There are many more stories I am sure I will share in the near future. For now, I just wanted to introduce you to my summer. I know you are praying and thinking about me and I am beyond grateful . . . Please pray I have the ability, energy and teachability to fulfill my role as intern here as I help with updating their website, taking photographs, participating in seminars and everything else that may come up.
Breakthrough Intern, June 2010