Life Changing Experience

Nothing I could have read could have prepared me for what I saw in the memorials and on the streets of Rwanda this summer during our visit. In 1994 Rwanda went through one of the most horrible genocides in recent history. Rwanda is about the size of Maryland, but almost twice as populated and during the genocide a third of their population were killed. In the memorials we saw the raw evidence and it was terrifying. We saw bodies upon bodies preserved and stacked into piles, and rows of skulls displayed on shelves. I was glad I went to the memorials, because it helped me understand what the country had been through. But you don’t need to go to a memorial to see the evidence: almost everyone over the age of 14 has scars on their faces and arms.

Have you ever visited a memorial? Maybe the Vietnam Memorial or Ground Zero? How did the experience impact you?

Published on: September 01, 2008
About the Author
Photo of Eliana Schiffer

13 year old Eliana Schiffer from Santa Barbara, California went on a 3 week bike ride this summer in Rwanda with her teacher’s family and 6 other students from Santa Barbara Middle School.

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