by Abigail Dibadj
Rwanda is a beautiful country. Just outside of Kigali you are surrounded by the gorgeous rolling hills, the houses built into the landscape, and a large amount of vegetation.
Nothing in Rwanda compares to its National Park. On Thursday we went to Akagera National Park to go on a safari with street kids that we previously met on Tuesday. The safari was absolutely amazing. We saw plenty of impala and water bucks, a few topi, a surprisingly large amount of enormous hippos, many beautiful birds, herds of zebras and giraffes, one elephant in the distance, and a very special Nile crocodile.
The crocodile wasn’t just special because of its amazing strength and beauty, but because of the effect it had on one kid named Amistad. Amistad is twelve year old boy who was one of the street kids accompanying us on the safari. At the beginning of the safari I asked him his favorite animal and he quickly stated the Nile crocodile. When we finally saw it the shy boy was jumping out of his seat. Amistad began yelling and pointing because this was the first time he had ever seen his favorite animal. For many of the street kids the safari that we journeyed on was their first. The first time they had seen the immense wildlife of their country.
It is hard to see a range of wildlife in Rwanda because the breathtaking National Park is surrounded by a threatening electric fence. I understand why it is necessary. The surrounding villages previously had a problem with the animals terrorizing their neighborhoods and this fence prevents that. But then I think about the animals. In the national park they live in their natural habitat, but to me it is still a cage. They can’t roam freely because they might run into an electric fence. When God created the earth he intended for humans and animals to live in harmony. It is hard for me to believe that an electric fence was ever part of that picture.