kigali one

[Rwanda]

Back at Centre Christus. No hotel, but that’s the point, I guess – to be thrown back to listening, to needing, in a place where – so much happened, and a place that has so much to give. Flew into the airport where – so much happened (Habyarimana’s plane went down – the signal for the start of the genocide); now, the jet banks over new red roofs, new silver roofs, the surge in growth with some of the problems attached to new money; the palpable awareness, soon after landing, of the enormous labor it is taking to squeeze this development into being – the giant tasks ahead, to bud a country up from colonialism, knitting with a past that was gruesomely violated over the course of a century. The short drive to Christus (a Jesuit residence) past new construction, the immaculate, swept streets, to the small, dorm-like rooms – next to the memorial for the victims of the first mass killings of the genocide (the plane went down and a score of Hutus, Tutsis, men, women, were rounded up as being enemies of the then-state, packed in a room, and blown apart).

 

So much happened, so much is happening: the cultural foundry; the persistent, repetitive trauma (aids, rape orphans, widows, the appetite of the old for the new, issues of communicating across generational lines; deep, lingering political antipathies).

 

A time, these first few days for visitors to not be where they think they are, to not have what they think they need, to hear and not understand, to listen harder, to not understand even more – even everything… for me, to the extent I’m a facilitator, to do less, and to do less, well… for me to be unwell in the context of – so much happening, turning to a healing which is not the obliteration but the future of a wound.

 

Wish you were here.

 

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