Seven Weeks!

Yes! Hamline University is headed back to Rwanda! On 26 May, fourteen students, a staff colleague, and myself - the faculty leader - will depart, arriving in Kigali on 28 May. Seven weeks from today, 29 May, is our first full day in Rwanda. We will take a tour of the city, including the Presidential Palace, followed by lunch at Bourbon Coffee and - of course - a stop at Nakumatt in the Union Trade Centre. After lunch we'll visit the Belgian Troop Memorial and the Hotel des Mille Collines, known to some as "Hotel Rwanda." That evening we'll share a welcome dinner at Republika, followed by our second night at the Discover Rwanda Youth Hostel.

We've made a few changes to the itinerary this year. As well as a few different NGOs, as part of our recreational activities we've added a visit to Nyungwe National Forest for the canopy walk. What I hope is a real highlight is a day long student-created workshop with students at the Protestant Institute of Art and Social Sciences in Huye. Our students will present on youth involvement in the 1960s civil rights movement in the US. Rwandan students will present on youth involvement in post-genocide Rwanda. They'll also have plenty of time just to visit with one another, including sharing lunch and dinner. If we're lucky we'll also visit Inzozi Nziza for ice cream!

Another highlight of this year's course is this... In 2012 we visited Gashora Girls Academy. See what students had to say here and here. But, this time we'll be bringing Linda, a member of the first Gashora graduating class of 2013! She's now completing her sophomore year at Hamline, likely majoring in Economics and Global Studies. She'll not only be joining us in the course, but will also be serving as a peer leader. And, almost four years to the day, we'll again be visiting Gashora. Even though all of her friends have graduated, I imagine it will be quite a homecoming. Check out the posts from November 2013 to read more.

Internet access permitting, students will post each day we're in Rwanda. And, perhaps we'll post a bit just before we depart in May. Stay tuned!

Addendum: The post below was written on my last morning in Huye, in April 2014. That was the trip during which I met with my colleague at PIASS, Kazu Sasaki, and from which the workshop that will take place this year emerged. I should have posted a follow-up when I returned, but things have been, um, a little busy since then!

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