The sun shines and the birds chirp, even where there was once hell on earth. Even where the ghosts of the dead haunt the memories of the survivors. Even where once ordinary people somehow became murderers, brutal murderers, who raped and tortured innocent friends and neighbors. Murderers who killed babies by smashing them against the wall of a church. On these blood splattered walls the sun shines. Around them, the grass grows. On the street next to them, people ride their bikes. In the towns nearby, people make a living, get married, have babies and cook their families dinner. Life goes on. Somehow. I don’t know how, but it does. I saw it. Today.
Let me leave you with the thought of a little girl named Fillette that I read about in the Kigali memorial. The plaque under her photograph read: “Age: 2, Favorite Toy: dall, Favorite Food: rice and chips, Best Friend: her dad, Behavior: good girl, Cause of Death: smashed against a wall”.
This happened eighteen years ago in the same land where people now sell bananas, harvest crops and eat dinner. People give birth to the next generation of children who can then in turn run around the very fields that were once soaked in blood without the memories of the past haunting them. So, there are many ways that this painful experience has affected me. But what I want to leave you with the thought of is that life goes on. Despite all odds. When it would never seem possible. Somehow. Life goes on.