15 months, 16 days, and some hours ago, Jeremy Menkowitz took Lauren (Teen) Wolf to the site of their first kiss, and while friends hid in cars to take pictures, he got down on one knee and proposed. On Sunday, June 28th, the happy couple will finally tie the knot in Philadelphia. Although I am not looking forward to what promises to be some grueling flights and jet lag, I am thrilled to be...
If my grandmother or mother were more tech-savvy, I would be certain that one of them had created this video.
In 1993, when Eugine Mussolini was fifteen years old, he stepped on a landmine while trying to join the RPF forces in Rwanda’s eastern province. Doctors performed successive operations on his left leg, amputating more each time. Today, he must replace his prosthetic leg yearly to avoid further infection, and he must pay for this out of his own pocket. “My first thought was, ‘I...
The problem of Teaching History in Rwanda
This morning Albert and I got his new Survivor Corps blog up and running. It’s still a work in progress, but check out his first post below! zagalorwanda: I am discussing with my coleague Lisa from USA issues related to (History, reconciliation and justice in Rwanda ) and I remembered this article I wrote 2 years ago and thought it might be of a bit interest for you… Rwandans...
Video Profile →
My fellow fellow in Burundi posted her video profile. 1- I am jealous that she figured out how to make the flip camera work. 2- I am looking forward to meeting her in Butare this weekend! 3- Note to self: remember to bring flip camera and beg Laura to teach me how to use it! lauragordon: Here’s my profile, finally on line. Low res as ever, but that’s the nature of internet in Burundi!
Supporting my Pops... →
This is the first year I won’t be able to walk with my dad on the annual overnight walk, “Out of the Darkness” which benefits the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. It’s a great event which raises awareness and aims to end the stigma surrounding depression. The one thing I won’t miss: the blisters that accumulate around mile 18. You can support him here.
This is personal →
As I head off to the Kigali Genocide Memorial this morning, I’ll be thinking about Officer Johns, his family, and the Museum. The outpouring of support after the terrible events stands as a testament to the Musuem’s incredible work, and the shooting illuminates the importance of the Museum’s mission to remember the Holocaust and prevent contemporary genocide. The article above,...
Intashyo (meaning “to greet”) by...
Don't Stop the Music
“Do you like hip hop?” Kabera (formerly known to blog readers as Jean-Paul; he told me this afternoon that he prefers to go by his family name, Kabera) asked me this morning as we waited for the slow Internet connection at AERG’s offices to upload his photos. As Rihanna set the mood, we began to put together AERG’s first web site, a very simple google site which will allow Kabera and his...
Kagame on HuffPo →
Rwanda’s President, Paul Kagame, writes on the Huffington Post about the Peace Corps and the importance of cultural exchange and investment for development. H/T: Sweet.
Only guard yourself and guard your soul carefully, lest you forget the things...– Deuteronomy 4:9 (Inscribed above the eternal flame in the Hall of Remembrance at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)
IBUKA Means Memory
Today, my thoughts have been with my friends and colleagues at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum after the critical shooting of one of the Museum’s guards, Officer Steven T. Johns, yesterday. Having worked at the Museum for three years, I am personally grateful for the commitment of the officers who work there and keep the Museum and its visitors and staff safe. I remember Officer Johns...
Kristof's Response to Mahmood Mamdani on the Save... →
Interesting review of Mahmood Mamdani’s new book Saviors and Survivors by New York Times columnist Nick Kristof. In addition to pointing out the problems with Mamdani’s criticism of the Darfur movement and presenting some concrete ideas for activists, Kristof highlights the very dangerous possiblity of war reigniting between North and South Sudan. For more on this, check out the...
Out of the Darkness
Each year, my father and I participate in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s “Out of the Darkness” 20-mile walk through the night. The AFSP walk, held in a different city each year, begins at dusk with an opening ceremony in which survivors –those who have attempted suicide or suffered from depression, or those who have lost a loved one to suicide – share their stories with all of...
Uh oh... Don't fail me Ethiopian Airlines... →
Wonder if customs will take a bit longer on the way back to the US… H/T: Zach
A Pledge for AERG →
As my visit with Jean-Paul brought me back to my time at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, I thought it would be an appropriate time to add my pledge to the Museum’s new Pledge Wall. Through a new exhibit, “From Memory to Action,” the Museum aims to take its visitors - both physical and virtual - from an understanding of the Holocaust to action to end and prevent contemporary...
"It is easy when it is in your heart"
Jean-Paul runs the Association des Etudiants et Elèves des Rescapés du Génocide (AERG). As a genocide survivor, he feels strongly connected to the mission of AERG: commemoration, rebuilding, and advocacy. He coordinates 15 university branches and close to 300 secondary chapters of AERG. Did I mention that Jean-Paul is also a full time student? When I asked him how he manages to run this...
Memory must bring people together rather than set them apart. Memories are here...– Elie Wiesel, at Buchenwald Concentration Camp, June 5, 2009
Traveling Kristof Style... →
Nick Kristof - advocating that students spend time abroad - provides some interesting travel tips. Hat Tip: Dad.
Where The Streets Have No Name
Today was my first full day of work. I took the bus into mumugyi (town) and flagged down a moto-taxi for the second leg of my journey to the Survivor Corps office in Nyamirambo. Before getting on the moto-taxi, I called Albert so that he could give the driver directions to the office. Addresses don’t exist and many of the streets are unnamed in Kigali, so people use landmarks to give...
This evening, I met a man in Kigali who spoke no English or French, only Kinyarwanda. With Albert’s help, we negotiated a price, and I hopped on the back of his moto-taxi. I straddled the stranger, he gave me a helmet, I put my arms on his hips, and we took off into the night. After five minutes of so, he reached back and pushed my helmet forward without a word. “That’s nice,” I thought, “He’s...
Albert Nzamukwereka, the Rwanda Coordinator for Survivor Corps, was elected president of his class at the University of Rwanda. It was a free and fair election. Today, Albert is dedicated to improving civil society, restoring peace to Rwanda through investment and reconciliation, and improving human rights in the country. Over tea, we chatted about the prospects for Rwanda’s reconciliation. ...
Letter to Congo...
Through Women for Women, I sponsor a woman living in the DR Congo. Jeanine lives in Kasheke, a village in eastern Congo. In her last letter, she told me about her daily routine… “…everyday when I get up in the morning, I arrange things in the house, then I go to market to sell my goods. When it is evening I go back and immediately start cooking the evening food…” ...