Sunday, May 29, 2016

Day 5: Murambi


I can't believe we've been in Rwanda almost a week. We wake up extremely early so that we can make the most out of our time here (usually between 5am and 6:30am). Today we travelled five hours to the Murambi Genocide Memorial, the site of one of the most unforgettable horrors of the genocide. Refugees fled to Murambi, the location of a school built in the midst of beautiful rolling hills, after being told that it was a safe place to hide from the surrounding violence. It was merely a trick, though, and almost 50,000 people were killed. This memorial allows one to see bodies of people killed, tangible proof of the horror that happened on that day. Before we got to the memorial, one of our group leaders told the group that we should mentally prepare ourselves for what we were going to see. I don't think any words could have prepared me for what was to come, just like those people were not prepared to be betrayed and then brutally killed. As we walked past the bodies of victims preserved with powdered lime, I could not help but look at the positioning of the bodies. The toes and fingers curled in pain and many of the arms and legs were outstretched as if they were reaching for any ounce of humanity that was left. I will never forget this day, and I hope that more people are able to visit this memorial to learn about this massive atrocity. It is a poignant reminder to us all of what came to pass here, and why it must never be allowed to happen again.

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