Yesterday we attended court. Today at 2pm, we'll find out if we passed (there's really no reason for us not to pass). We didn't get to see Laina yesterday, and today I have a bit of a stomach bug, so I can't see her again (don't want to risk making the babies sick!). But Jeremy is there with her now, hopefully taking loads of pictures for me.
Yesterday afternoon, we went to the Genocide Memorial. As you could guess, it's one of those places that you leave feeling so heavy and sad. I had read several books on the genocide, but seeing the pictures and hearing the stories of those who had survived, and especially seeing clothing that they had recovered from mass graves--Jesus, have mercy. The memorial was really well done, giving a clear history of what happened, and especially of the events leading up to the genocide. It's hard to imagine that genocide can happen, but when you read and see all of the propaganda, political stuff, historical aspects, etc, you realize how it can. And it does. Part of the purpose of this memorial is to educate people on what leads to genocide so it will never happen again in any country. I applaud the efforts.
The best part of that whole experience was the room dedicated to heros of the genocide. People, ordinary people, who would not be persuaded to evil but instead risked their lives--and sometimes lost them--to hide people, to fight, to help people escape. Some of the men fought the genocidaires with rocks--when they were being shot at with guns. Women hid strangers under their beds. Families dug trenches disguised as gardens and hid people there, feeding them and caring for them for weeks. The point made by the audio that accompanied the tour was that those people showed that even in times of genocide, people have a choice. There is always a choice to do right, even if it costs us our lives.
Outside of the memorial, there are mass graves where remains of victims are being interred still today. And there are gardens. Beautiful rose gardens, where each individual rose represents a victim, gardens that represent ancient peaceful Rwanda, Rwanda torn apart, and Rwanda reconciled, a forest of remembering, and a fire that burns for the 100 days of remembering, from April 6-July, the dates of the genocide. It was beautiful and full of hope and new life in the midst of horror and death.
I am so thankful to be here, to be seeing at least a little bit of Laina's homeland. I hope that when she's older, we can all come back and get to know this place. It's beautiful, and that's just what I'm seeing from the bus as we drive from one appointment to another.
Please pray for: health for all of us, an easy time passing court, and that we'd get our travel letters very quickly. Once we have those, we can keep Laina with us all the time--and show pictures! And pray for the boys as they're missing us (and we are missing them!).
Thanks, friends. And by the way, may I remind you that comments=love? :)