Thursday, April 9, 2009

WEEKS 8-9 (Mar 30-Apr 9):

For several weeks, we prepared for our “practical activity”. For this assignment, we were supposed to identify a target group that we would eventually give a health presentation to in kinyarwanda. I gave a presentation about HIV/AIDS to a huge group of primary school children ranging in age from about 6-16. Doing the presentation in kinyarwanda was difficult and took a lot of preparation. Overall, it was a success. I gave a presentation about the transmission of HIV/AIDS and a colleague gave a presentation after mine concerning the myths about HIV/AIDS.
We held a party for our language and cross-cultural teachers and for our resource families. It will be sad to see everyone part but exciting to go to our sites and get started. Training ends Saturday the 11th. We will go to Kigali on Tuesday and on Wednesday the 15th we will be sworn in AS VOLUNTEERS!!! From Kigali we will go to our sites and begin our service. After the party for resource families my “mama” brought me to her neighbors wedding. It was very fun and more traditional of a wedding than the last one I attended.
Genocide Memorial Week began on April 7th. On April 6th 1994, the president of Rwanda’s plane was shot down. On April 7th the mass slaughter was already in full swing. It is a national holiday here and is taken very seriously (as it ought to be). For the entire week, everything will close at noon and the public is expected to attend genocide conferences where guest speakers will give their testimonies etc… Movies concerning genocide will be shown everyday throughout the entire country. People will also visit their families and gravesites of their lost loved ones. It is a time for mourning, reconciliation and remembrance. On the 7th, we joined a silent parade through the streets to a memorial site (mass grave) nearby. It is strongly discouraged and stigmatized to not attend these events.

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