|The team debriefs the memorial at |
J Lynn's with Jen and Serge (and Beni)
There was one particular paragraph I remember reading while walking through the memorial. It stated that when the genocide started many of the countries that had diplomats or citizens in Rwanda sent in their troops to get these people out safely. The number of international troops pulling their own citizens out would have been enough to stop the genocide in the beginning. I remember thinking if those troops would have stayed and helped out this memorial I am standing in right now might not even exist.
After the memorial, we went back to J Lynn’s for lunch and to debrief our morning with Jen and Serge. We talked a lot about the international involvement after someone brought up the question “ Why did it take so long for other countries to respond?” We got into a discussion about why other countries do not respond. Some of the reasons we came up with are they do not want to put their own citizens in danger, they do not want to intervene if they do not benefit in doing so, they think it is a problem the country needs to solve on it’s own to become stronger and many other reasons. It is so frustrating that many times the international community will not intervene just because it is morally the right thing to do.
We then got into how even today there are so many conflicts going on in countries that most people have either stopped paying attention to or do nothing about. There was an entire section of the memorial dedicated to other genocides, none of which i had learned about in school or even heard about before besides the Holocaust. I feel hypocritical being angry when the international community does not step in because I myself am in a way guilty of this. Many times I'll hear about a problem in another country on the news, then soon forget about it. I remember Jen Kamari then asking, “ Does what’s going on in these countries matter to you? Do you care?”
This discussion got me really fired up as I began to process what was being said. Of course I care, but what can I do to help? I have been considering a career in the field of international relations for a few years now, was today a sign that this is what I should do? I am still not sure about many other things including these two but I hope to find the answers throughout the rest of my time here.
|The team with downtown Kigali in the background|