When you think about Rwanda, the first thing that comes to mind is the genocide against the Tutsis. A visit to the Genocide Memorial Centre is a must-do to begin to understanding a country that’s been through so much.
I teared up during my visit. In a span of 100 days nearly one million Tutsis were butchered by the army and civilians. The world stood by and let the blood bath happen. I saw horrible pictures of hundreds of bodies in a church where Tutsis thought they were safe. Pictures of children with prints of machetes in their heads. How can someone murder a neighbour or a friend? And how can people ever trust each other again?
Rwanda has done a remarkable job of reconciliation. Community councels tried the fair part of the perpetrators and everyone must take part in community service for three hours once a month. Incredibly, Tutsis and Hutus, survivors and former killers, now live side by side.
The ‘Land of a thousand hills’ maybe associated with the Rwandan Genocide in 1994, but it’s a surprisingly peaceful country of friendly people who are very optimistic about their country's future. If you are into mountain gorilla’s, beautiful lush green rural scenary, volcanoes, rolling hills and valleys combined with lakes and beaches - this is the place to go.