Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Rwanda, in the heart of Africa

I pitch my tent in the track trailer, made dinner and slept. I was able to work up early in the next day after breakfast I left the town. The morning view of sky cover with morning mist, dump air and lush green on the rolling hills over and over to the four side horizons was worm welcome to the very heart of Africa I cycled in the road which goes along side Kagera National Park. Several tourist vehicles pass taking people who traveled from different angle of the world. Venture to this remote country to experience the magnificent animals’ n their native environment. I just though most of them perhaps all ready watch film such “Gorillas In The Mist” about late Dian Fossey’s pioneering work. Here it manifest itself that watching these fascinating creatures on the television is exciting enough but nothing in comparison to the thrill of visiting them firsthand. In the flat terrain with gently hills, the landscape characterized mountains hence the name “The County of a Thousand Hills”, valleys, marshes, several rivers and cultivated fields; conclude “The country of Perpetual Spring”. In the town people were rushing to their work places in the farms people were busy as well. There were lot of self-contained compounds and work a sign of life quality.

I stopped at Gabiro town after 34kms. I chart with locals as I was drinking my cold drink. The conversations start with curious young but lost for short give the chance for couple farmer. I narrated m stories to Hutu farmers while they were patiently listen. I turned to them with my questions about genocide and current status. They were nearly turned me down clamed that my questions were to political so I better find a politician, but kept on with conversation after convinced them I am just what to learn and there were nothing else on my intention. I sensed that perhaps they were felt guilt. Since I am interested with cause these were potential people to portray very history of this densely populated small country.
So there we emerged deep cause one of the century’s great tragedies, in a small country (26,336km square) with 8 million people (before genocide) ranked early1994, most densely populated state. The story had to part completely different, there are some account said that, the Tutsi arrived as northerners Nilotic conquers perhaps early 15th century. While others believe that the two groups have always been defined by class or castle rather than by ethnicity. This myth like account kept on say that the godlike ruler Kigwa fashioned a test to choose his successor. He gave each of his sons a bowl of milk to guard during the night. His son Gatwa drank the milk, Yahutu slept and spilled the milk. Only Gatusi guarded it well. This justifies Rwanda’s social order, in which the Twa (pygmies) were the outcasts, the Hutu servants, and Tutsi aristocrats. Historically, Hutu serf herded cattle and performed various other services for their Tutsi “protectors”. At the top of the hierarchy.

I resume my cycling, my mind occupied with what I wasn’t conscious want to think about. The country side was extraordinary beauty but failed to turn mind. Lastly I came up with clue Tutsi has high chance of being Nilots but due to the cause and conditions which made them to intermarriage result even speak one language “Kinyarwanda”. Looked the same physically, notwithstanding the stereotyped of the Tutsi being exceptionally tall, It is almost impossible for outside to differentiate between the two groups. I kept on convince myself that as the process of intermingle this group was took the place as any where in the world the outside arrived with their interest. Though that the colonialists’ ideal such as encouraging predominant Hutu (86%) to grow cashcrops especial coffee, and other ideal relate with divide and rule wide the distinction between these two groups which since then was under one rule “Mwami”. These very kind of things with ever-increase pressure of people and herds, greed and authoritarianism characterized countries political hence civil war and genocide.
After won my mind battle I was able to continue energetically cycling and absorbed the beauty of these Hart Of Africa which despite of the harsh past story the nature still manifest its beauty. There were several courage words and waves from the people in the farms, shops, vehicles, etc. These were the signs of welcomed and friendly people. Some other youth joined me for few kilometers showed me how good they are while in French/Kiswahili tell me how they were proud to see black man on bicycle tour.