This in from my son Bernard, about his experience in receiving his significant other Truphena in Rwanda where he is conducting an internship with Partners in Health (PIH). A moving, beautifully described wording of the elation of a first flight, of a sense of safety in the streets of a city, and the realisation of the capacity for humans to both love and hate in the genocide museum.
I am so delighted for what you the family did in seeing Truphena visit me in Rwanda. My heart felt with joy on seeing her and hearing from her in person. She could not hold her joy.
[This] was a biggest miracle on her side using the flight for the fast time ever and she could always tell me “… in my life using a flight was just but a dream that I was not even sure of and to repeat it again. [This] is my biggest surprise ever and my story now begins a fresh…”[Truphena’s] coming [to Rwanda] was a life changing experience on her way of looking [at] things and on how people socialize. She has met my very many new friends from all corners of the world, some of whom are interns in PIH and others working as Doctors at PIH hospital for Cancer treatment and even the Rwandan friends. We have spent time with our new Indian friend who is in her medical school to become a Doctor and on her internship with PIH. [H]er name is Sonya who was championing for visiting us in Kenya together with her boyfriend who is now finishing [his] PhD studies in India.
We have tried different but very simple foods here as well, including having our dinner in one of the Chinese restaurant here in Rwanda. [This] was full with fun, walking at Kigali city at night is very safe and these would saw as walk together as twins. A few bodaboda guys could greet us in Kinyarwanda and as I quickly responded to them as I pose a joke in Kiswahili, they even moved closer to where we were standing, asking me are you from Tanzania or Kenya? Teach us your very nice Swahili language and some could ask where are you taking our beautiful Rwandan girl. They all thought Truphena is from Rwanda so they could tell me, Are you ready to bring us the Kenya’s cows as a dowry so that we may allow you to take her with you? I jovially asked them, Yes how many cows do you need from me? They answered many cows since our girls are beautiful, don’t you see?
Believe me Kai, if you happened to one time visit here you will really admire it. The beautiful hills and valleys that connect one estate to the other with well lit roads and not forgetting the very smart side ways pavements that are well maintained would see you tempted to start [an] either morning or evening run that at the end will see your feet very healthy as one might say no to chronic diseases.
Our tour to Kigali Genocide Memorial site was another place that saw our sharp and very slender tears rolled down our by then helpless faces. We spent many hours at the site, visiting place by place, reading word by word as pinned in the walls. The photos of the 1994 genocide victims could tell a lot. We felt so sorry on how [this] country was in [the] hands of people inhuman. [This] was history and a movie as we used to watch in Kenya. But [in] our presence, [they] marked it all with realities, and its true. Hundreds of thousands people died, not even an innocent child could be spared, very smart and talented kids lost their lives. The skulls, the blunt tools used during the genocide was all evidence that people were not people but animals that would view others as the wild prey, demand[ing] their death.
The graves where over 250,000 bodies were laid was all an evidence for what happened. We underwent a moment of silence with Truphena and we really thought of these in wider perspective. If the rest of the world could learn a lesson from what happened in Rwanda then we do no think if you can hear of killings or loss of lives in favor of political leaders or parties, race, tribe or religion and the world could be the best and better place for humanity … may God forbid.
Once again I feel so glad that Truphena is already [returned to] Kenya [for] I have received her text messages. Our lovely Grand Parents Linda and Dick Staats. Our Papa Kai and Jae, with great love we say thank YOU SOO much. May you live long on Earth to see us prosper in greater heights. May you find joy and happiness in all that you do.
With lots of love always,