Posts Tagged ‘Kigali’

A bloody day in Kigali

The scene of the attack the next day


It sounded like a canon.
As I sat drinking a coffee and discussing my teaching experience at the University with my colleague we heard a thundering thud.
I knew it wasn’t a gunshot, but never would I have expected a bloody attack had occurred about a hundred yards from where I sat.
Bertha and I looked at each other. “What was that?,” she said. I replied saying I was confident it wasn’t shots fired, and the thought of an attack simply didn’t occur to me. Not in the Rwanda I know.
Bertha and I looked around, gauged the reaction, or lack thereof, of the others around us, finished our coffees, and left on motorcycle taxis.

It was only when our friend Sam arrived at the Rwanda Initiative house that we learned what had happened. At least two grenades were set off simultaneously, resulting in at least one person dead, and dozens injured.
No one knows who’s responsible for the attack. Rumors are circulating ranging from the arrival of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, racial tensions, and the upcoming elections.

As soon as I heard about the attack I grabbed my cameras and rushed back to the scene. I walked with Sam, Bertha, and another colleague, and we searched for the attacked areas, expecting police, people in distress, and news reporters.
There was nothing.
It wasn’t until we looked down at our feet in the area we thought was a scene of the attack, only to see they were covered in blood. We were standing literally on the site of the attack, and life went on around us like nothing had happened.


Teaching in Rwanda

Kigali Street Scene, 2009


I’m really excited to be off to teach journalism for in Rwanda in February with Canadian NGO Rwanda Initiative. I had the opportunity to stay with them earlier this year when working on a story on the anniversary of the genocide, and have been looking for an excuse to return ever since…

From their website: “Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication, Canada’s premier journalism school, is spearheading this initiative to collaborate with its counterpart at the National University of Rwanda (NUR), in Butare.
The central aim is to address the shortage of journalism educators in Rwanda, to build capacity, to improve journalism standards in the country and to forge a partnership between the two universities.
In addition to providing the School of Journalism and Communication in Butare with consistent access to visiting teachers, the project has a major curriculum development and exchange component and also includes media-training workshops in Rwanda for working journalists, jointly organized by Carleton and NUR.”


TIME and Digital Journalist

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I have a new piece up today on TIME.com telling a story from Rwanda marking the 15th anniversary of the genocide. Check it out if you have a chance.

Also, please check out this months issue of the Digital Journalist. There’s an email exchange between guest editor Jerry Lazar from KobreGuide and myself talking about why I decided to leave the LA Times, and how freelancing in India has been so far. The whole issue is filled with amazing contibutors and stories.