Half a World Away or: Reconciling the Rage and Learning to Live with the Pain

Posted by Janice Kamenir-Reznik

It took us 30 hours from the time we departed from Los Angeles to when we arrived in Kigali, Rwanda. We spent the evening visiting with our new Rwandan friends who will be our guides and translators   While we have not yet seen Kigali in the daytime, from our conversations tonight and by the looks of our brand new hotel, (which has free wireless, a swimming pool befitting a Hawaiian resort, a workout room, and more), Rwanda is working diligently on its tourism, its urban development, and on its economy.  And, of course, wants desperately to create an all time record for post genocide reconciliation.  We will learn much more tomorrow as we visit the genocide memorial.

I have the question lingering in my mind about the small village “justice courts” by which genocide perpetrators are supposed to seek direct forgiveness from the mother whose baby he killed or from the husband whose entire family he destroyed.  When almost one million were slaughtered in 100 days, can an apology assuage the pain and reduce the rage?  I know that our day tomorrow will give me lots more to think of on this theme.