November 26, 2004: Headlines: COS - Rwanda: Writing - Rwanda: Poetry: Web de Sol: Remera's Story by Rwanda RPCV Derick Burleson

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Rwanda: Peace Corps Rwanda : The Peace Corps in Rwanda: November 26, 2004: Headlines: COS - Rwanda: Writing - Rwanda: Poetry: Web de Sol: Remera Peoms by Rwanda RPCV Derick Burleson : November 26, 2004: Headlines: COS - Rwanda: Writing - Rwanda: Poetry: Web de Sol: Remera's Story by Rwanda RPCV Derick Burleson

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Remera's Story by Rwanda RPCV Derick Burleson

Remera's Story by Rwanda RPCV Derick Burleson

Remera's Story by Rwanda RPCV Derick Burleson


I am coming from Rwanda.
A tiny country in the middle of Africa.
My country became very famous and popular since 1994 by genocide in my country.
Because we kill each other.
I would like to share with you my experiences in there in the genocide in my country.
Between April and June more than one million people were killed in my country.

I'd like to talk about genocide now.
What is the genocide?
The genocide in my country result in the massacre of more than one million.
I am someone of the survivor in my country.
In April 1994 I lost all my family and again my friends.
That is why I am here.

I'm trying to get my status of refugees and try to make my life in peace.
One week I stay to my home with all my family.
We don't know what we have to do.
I remember my father say:
"If we try to escape from here to go to the church, maybe we'll be safe."
And then it was kind of confusing.

We don't know what was go on at that time.
And we decide if we stay together, we going to die together.
Maybe if we are separate, one of them can be save.
And then I left my home with my sister and my brother.
And we left our parents there.

On our road, my brother and my sister, we walk about 20 days.
Because we can't take the bus, we can't ride whatever means of transportation.
We have to climb the mountain and travel all night in the forest.
And one day 21st April we was arrested by military on the checkpoint.

When you are in that kind of situation you try to make something to help you.
We erase the ethnie and we write we are Hutu.
But physically we are not Hutu.
That is the difference.

They say Tutsis have a long nose and Hutu a short nose.
That is fit for me.
And then they catch us and they ask:
"Who are you. Where are you going?"

It was difficult to answer that.
They take us in the forest and they shoot us.
My little brother died at the same time.
And my sister after.
And me, I was shoot.
The military thought I was going die like my family.

In our way I saw a lot of things.
Death bodies who was eaten by dogs.
And in my mind I say if I stay in this forest I gonna die and then I'll be eat by dogs.
Let me get out of this forest maybe someone will find me.
Maybe if I die on the road I'll be transported somewhere where they put all people.

By chance, one of my friends who work in Butare find me and lead me to the hospital.
As soon as I get to the hospital the militia came to kill people in that hospital.
Some of my friends was in hospital to work there.
And then they hide me again.

Three days after I can't support that.
I have to be get some medicine to try to moderate my wounds.
In that time I remember there was a woman from Belgium who was in the hospital.
I am her last patient.

She said:
"I'm sorry.
I can't spend all my time to you and as soon as I finish, you'll be killed on my eyes.
I can't."
And she give up.
But my friends try to help me.

At that time government say they have to let all Zairian citizens go back in their country.
And I pay some military to let me go in that convoy to Zaire.
That's why I escaped from Kigali the capital, from the university to the border.
I pay money and then I get to the border.

But as soon as I get to the border, I couldn't pass because I wasn't Zairian citizen.
And they say:
"No for you.
You have to stay in your country."

And then I spent two days in the bushes and when I feel strong.
Between my country and Zaire we have Lake Kivu as border.
And then I swim in the lake to Zaire.
I guess I was save.

But a few days after the RPF took my country in June.
And then those Hutu and military and former government have to leave the country.
And again I was with those people who want to kill me in my country.
And I can't support that.
As someone escape from Rwanda I couldn't feel well in that kind of situation.
And then I decide if I have to die again, why not die in my own county.
And then I decide to get back in my country.
But by the time since, change and change.

When this story was posted in November 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

The Birth of the Peace Corps The Birth of the Peace Corps
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The Kerry campaign wants the RPCV vote. Read our interview with Dave Magnani, Massachusetts State Senator and Founder of "RPCVs for Kerry," and his answers to our questions about Kerry's plan to triple the size of the Peace Corps, should the next PC Director be an RPCV, and Safety and Security issues. Then read the "RPCVs for Kerry" statement of support and statements by Dr. Robert Pastor, Ambassador Parker Borg, and Paul Oostburg Sanz made at the "RPCVs for Kerry" Press Conference.

RPCV Carl Pope says the key to winning this election is not swaying undecided voters, but persuading those already willing to vote for your candidate to actually go to the polls.

Take our poll and tell us what you are doing to support your candidate.

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Story Source: Web de Sol

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Rwanda; Writing - Rwanda; Poetry



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