Final Itinerary: 25 May - 11 June - UPDATED (4/5/12)

May 25: Depart for Kigali

May 26: Arrive Kigali

May 27: Kigali
Tour of Kigali
Les Enfants de Dieu
Belgian Troop Memorial

May 28: Kigali
Kigali Memorial Center Ntarama Genocide Memorial Site

May 29: Kigali
National Unity and Reconciliation Commission Prison Fellowship Rwanda

May 30: Kigali
Vision 2020 Umurenge Village
Living Bricks model village in Mbyo
Gashora Girls Academy

May 31: Kigali
Never Again Rwanda African Great Lakes Initiative

June 1: Kigali
National Service of Gacaca Courts
Optional recreation:
Hotel des Milles Collines

June 2:
Akagera National Park Afternoon safari

June 3: Akagera National Park
Morning safari

June 4: Kigali

Kimironko Market
Africa Bagel Company

June 5: Ruhengeri/Musanze
Kagano Community Intore Dancers

June 6: Ruhengeri/Musanze
Basket making Amahoro Integrated Development Project
Presentation on mountain gorilla preservation

June 7: Ruhengeri/Musanze
Gorilla trekking (optional)
Ruhengeri Market

June 8: Gisenyi

Walking tour/beach time

June 9: Gisengi
Free day

June 10: Kigali
Caplaki Artists Village
Depart for Minneapolis/Saint Paul

Beausejour Hotel, Kigali Akagera Game Lodge, Akagera Ishema Hotel, Ruhengeri/Musanze Gorillas Hotel, Lake Kivu

Meals provided:
All breakfasts
Two lunches
Three dinners

Cost: $5,000-$5,500 depending on the number of participants
Gorilla trekking is an additional $500

For the two week trip, participants should expect to spend about $300 for meals and souvenirs. All ground transportation, accommodations, tips, and entry fees are included.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 5 pm, Monday, 7 November
HERE or at the Office of International and Off-Campus Programs, 740 Snelling Avenue

Questions? Contact Melissa Embser-Herbert,


Good news!

Though we have not yet finalized things, there is a very good chance that - contrary to what we had anticipated - we will be able to keep the total cost of the trip right around $5000. And, we may be able to include more meals so that just about the only expense beyond that will be your immunizations and souvenirs. This does not include gorilla trekking as that is an optional activity that those enrolled in the course can choose to do or not.

The course is capped at 16 students. If you're definitely interested in joining us, you might wish to submit your application now! The deadline is 7 November.

Just to give you an idea regarding the money you might wish to have for souvenirs... 
I brought back nine baskets, three scarves, three pairs of earrings, two necklaces, a tiny carved gorilla, fabric, a painting - and probably a few things I've forgotten. I spent, in US dollars, about $130 on everything.

Questions? Feel free to contact me at

Financial Aid

Financial aid in the form of alternative/private loans (i.e., not government loans such as the Stafford Loan) is available for short-term study abroad. Loans are available for a maximum of the cost of the course plus $1000.

For more information, please see Cheryl Dooley in the Office of Financial Aid.

Cheryl Dooley, Associate Director
Financial Aid

Please be sure that you direct all related questions to Cheryl and not others in Financial Aid as she is the "go-to" person for these issues!

August Update

We're working hard to finalize trip details, all with an eye to keeping the cost down. Please check back soon!


Course Description

The course description, not including academic requirements, is as follows:

"In 1994, approximately 800,000 people died in the Rwandan genocide. Neighbors killed neighbors, priests turned against their congregations, and, in some cases, people killed members of their own family. Today, fewer than 20 years later, perpetrators and survivors live and work together. How is this possible? Restorative justice (RJ) focuses on the needs of both victims and offenders, as well as the community. That is, crimes are seen not just as harming individuals, but also the community. RJ processes focus on creating opportunities for dialogue between those involved in the harm. In Rwanda, restorative justice has been practiced in a variety of ways including faith-based reconciliation workshops, prison fellowships, and gacaca “courts” or tribunals. Rwandans have sought to move beyond retribution and focus on the restoration of relationships. In doing so, it is hoped that healing can take place. While the events of 1994 are, indeed, tragic, the stories that continue to come out of Rwanda are nothing short of awe-inspiring and enlightening. Join us for this journey from devastation to renewal."

Academic readings/assignments will be provided at a later date. The course is offered for credit as either Sociology 3980 or Social Justice 3980. There are no prerequisites.


Rwanda 2011

With the support of Hamline University, I recently had the opportunity to visit Rwanda. I've now created this blog in anticipation of our travels with students in 2012. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, here are a few snapshots from my trip.

 View toward Kigali city center from the
Kiyovu neighborhood

Intore dance performance
 Hike to basket making
 Mountain gorilla, Kwitonda family
Rwandan children at brick making

And, here's a link to a sampling of a few more photos. Enjoy!