rwanda - Rob Padowski

about these photos:

I visited Rwanda for three short days in November of 2015 for the first time. In our brief stop the only real place we visited was the Genocide Memorial in Kigali, Rwanda's capital city. While I only took a few pics around camp in this tiny country I was honoured to take away way more than just photographs. 

Words can't convey the horrific history of what happened back in such recent times (1994) between the Tutsi and Hutu tribes. Over 1,000,000 people lost their lives in a period of 100 short days. The Hutus (laborers) decimated the Tutsis (landowners) in a massacre that forever changed the country. The Memorial did an amazing job providing insight as to the tragic events that unfolded such a short time ago. The Memorial is the final resting place for some 250,000+ victims, and it's a powerful and beautiful tribute to this dark period of history. 

Despite the sadness the Rwandan people have made a concerted effort to move forward. As a result of the genocide foreign aid arrived from all over the world in an effort to make up for (largely) ignoring the events that unfolded, giving Kigali quite a modern and urban feel. The effects linger on to this day (high HIV rates, loads of orphans, etc.) but I can truly say the people seemed genuinely happy and were always waving and smiling. I look forward to getting back here someday to further explore this small yet beautiful country ... 

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