What can you say about the Rwandan genocide? What do you say when 500,000 – 1 million people were killed in 100 days?
On my Rwanda Adventure, I visited the Genocide Memorial Centre in Kigali. The site where 250,000 were murdered is definitely eye-opening. But being an outsider, I feel that anything I say will be trite. It’s the same reasons why I haven’t written about the concentration camps in Germany.
Beyond the usual “horrific” “unbelievable” “tragic” descriptions. I have no real meaningful adjectives that provide any new insights to describe the horrific events of 1994. Instead, I will share the words of some Rwandan genocide survivors. Who can speak more meaningful and powerful than I ever could:
I also highly recommend reading the book We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories From Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch. Needless to say, it’s not the most uplifting book you’ll ever read, but I realized how ignorant I was about the Rwandan genocide.
The world really did turn a blind eye. It also made my time in Rwanda much more meaningful as I gained insights into what has made Rwanda, Rwanda. And how a mere 10 years later no one discusses Hutu or Tutsi descent and everyone refers to themselves as united Rwandans instead.
Know Before You Go to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre:
- Admission to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre is by donation only. Donations are also accepted online as well.
- Opening Hours: 8 pm to 5 pm daily (must enter by 4 pm). Opens at 2 pm on Umuganda Saturdays.
- You can choose an audio guide or just walk through the centre and just read the signage, which is what I did. There are a lot of very informative displays and I felt the exhibits were very powerful.
- Warning: The Children’s Memorial is one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen. If you are bringing children, ensure they are old enough/mature enough to handle it. It might be a good idea to have a look yourself first before deciding to bring your children into this part of the centre.
- You can arrange your visit by yourself, just show up, no reservations required. My guide from Amahoro Tours dropped me off and waited until I was finished my visit.