Rwanda 2014: The Journey

ggevalt's picture

This space is for students to share, publicly, their observations, sound, images and reflections before, during and after the Harwood High School travel study to Rwanda in February 2014.

Stephen Rand's picture

20 years later...

Not sure if people can make the trek but I thought I would share this woth you guys. Babson College is having an evening of remembrance to honor the 20 years that have passed since the 1994 genocide. It is on Sunday April 13th from 3:30-7:00. 

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Green Mountain Global Forum Presents "Stories of Hope"

Green Mountain Global Forum will be presenting Stories of Hope as some of you may already know. It will be at the Big Picture in Waitsfeild on April 3rd at 7 pm. It would be awesome if you all could come. 

Juvenale's story about the Hard Workers Project for Global Grassroots

Ntarama Genocide Memorial

This is a project that I have been working on for the last couple of weeks. I wanted to find a way to attempt to share some of the the things we saw when we visited these memorial sites. I chose to use the audio and photographs of this site because I felt that it came close to portraying the experience I had. The things I saw scarred me. The things I saw made an impression. The things I saw I will remember. I will remember. Because we must remember.

Goodbye, For Now

Sometimes, experiences seem so surreal that it's difficult to let go of them. It seems like seconds ago that we landed in Kigali, and yet it feels like I've been here a lifetime. It's very diffucult to say goodbye to Rwanda, because it feels like a dream. I know that the second I get back, I will be slammed with the reality of the situation because I will miss it so much, but for now it just seems like we're packing for another branch of our journey. I'm terrified for the moment when I fully understand that this experience that has been building since September is now over. For these last couple of hours at Center Christus, we've been trying to throw ourselves face first into every opportunity we have. I think all of us feel like we're taking our last breaths, trying to breathe as deeply as we can but also struggling because we know they're the last we get.

Florentine Mukarurinda's Water Story

When talking to people around a water expansion site created by Global Grassroots Jackie and I met a worker of Global Grassroots named Florentine Mukarurinda who is 43 years old. She told us about her life before the expansion site was put in her community and how life is now, after the expansion site was put in.

Uwituze Claudines Water Story

When talking to people around a water expansion site created by Global Grassroots Jackie and I met a women named Uwituze Claudine who told us the story of how the expnsion site helped her and her family become more independent. This is her story.

Uwimana Alice's Story

When talking to people around a water expansion site created by Global Grassroots Jackie and I met a young girl named Uwimana Alice, a 15 -year-old girl who told us the story of how the expansion site helped her family. This is her story.


Ethnography At Clean Water Project

In Kigali we visited the Hard Worker's Clean Water Project.  With the help of Global Grassroots, they were able get money to bring clean water to their community.  This water has helped the health and success of their community.  While there, we documented different people's stories, and how the water has helped their lives.  During this, Nina Sklar and I went around documenting the work our group was doing with the Hard Workers.

Importance of Soccer In Rwanda



Soccer Game

Welcoming Song


Quincy and I interviewed multiple women asociated with the Water Project for Global Grassroots. This is one sample of an interview from a women named Maria. She explains how the Water Project has changed her life for the better. We also included a portrait of Maria.

Coffee Plantation and Language Barrier

Three days ago we went to a coffee plantation and then the washing station. Two days ago we went to another coffee plantation ran by women and were able to see how they are able to grow coffee, and are able to support their families even if they have to work so hard just to make so little. While there we were learning about the process it takes and how long it actually is, and while having to do all of this, with few people if it’s a small plantation, they do not get much credit. After leaving the coffee plantations we stopped to get a sample and these little kids came running up to the bus. The whole trip we have had kids and other adults and teens running up to the bus, but this time this little boy in a striped blue shirt came up to the bus. He seemed so happy, but also some how wanted to start a conversation. It hit me with the language barrier, and how hard it really was to connect with people, especially little kids, that seem so helpless, but so willing to try to start conversations no matter what it takes.

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A Wonderful Cultural Exchange

We had some wonderful moments while spending time at a high school in Butare. Students from this high school asked our group to share some talents. This short film captures some great moments where our cultures connect. Students were great ambassadors. Enjoy.

Vox Pop Part Two


Previously I shared part one of this project, where I asked Vermonters what came to their mind when they thought about Rwanda.  Over the past two weeks, I have been asking Rwandans what comes to mind when they think about America.  I have edited these interesting responses into another vox pop video.  Please feel free to give me any suggestions.


Teddy's -- The Good Samaritan School

When we went to The Good Samaritan School or Teddy’s I met a few children who really stuck out to me. One girl held my hand for the entire time we were there and another boy stole my sunglasses. These children made me open my eyes and realize how caring and loving everyone in Rwanda has been since we’ve been here. Teddy was one of the most inspiring people I have ever met when on this trip. After we first met her not five minutes later she said “ I have just met you all but I love you already.” This made me think about home because no one at home would tell a group of people they just met that they love them. The cultural difference here has impacted us all greatly.

ggevalt's picture

Rwanda travelers...

We are very impressed, again, with the quality of observation and expression coming from your trip. We want to send a couple of these pieces to the Waterbury paper for publication. We'd ascribe your real name to the pieces. We will make the selections early next week with hopes that when you all return, we can send a more complete package and to include some in other papers around the state.

Please advise by comment or email if any of you have concerns about being published.

Thanks and continued fruitful travels.

Geoff Gevalt, YWP Director

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Our Group With A Traditional Dance Troupe

This morning we spent time watching traditional Rwandan dancing and drumming. Then they invited us to join in. Great fun!

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