From DC to Kigali

My study abroad adventures are finally beginning! On Tuesday, August 16th, I traveled from New Jersey to Washington D.C. for my program check-in. I met the other nine other Go-ED students from CSU Fullerton, Messiah College, and Multnomah University with whom I will share the next four months. Among the ten of us, there are three nursing majors, two double-majors in theology and global studies, a double-major in criminal justice and peace/conflict studies, a civil engineering major, an economic development major, and me, the English education major.

We spent Wednesday morning at Holocaust Museum in D.C., as the topic relates closely to Rwandan history. The museum was too big to cover in one morning, as the “Some Were Neighbors” exhibit merited an hour for itself. The exhibit focused on the complicity vs. the humanity of civilian “bystanders” in genocide. I also learned a lot from a small aisle on the rein of Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, a lesser-known genocide rarely touched upon in American education. Before departing from the D.C. airport, we enjoyed lunch on White House lawn.

The significance (not to mention the length) of our journey really hit during our overnight flight to Paris. We had a few minutes in Paris to grab a coffee, then we were back in the air headed to Nairobi, Kenya. Our layover in Nairobi was longer, which gave us plenty of time to bond as a group and nap for a bit. (I can’t sleep on planes).

We arrived in Kigali, Rwanda around midnight. The time difference from D.C. to Kigali is six hours. We are currently settling into life in Kigali on our program compound and completing local orientation. On Monday we begin classes: Issues in Peacebuilding and East African Religion & Culture.

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