A week away and I am increasingly anxious even though this is what I want to do. I have just realised that I am going back there with only my own memories of my previous time in Africa and from all the reading and research I have done about the genocide. I have not reconciled that this is not now. That I am not going to Nairobi but Rwanda which is supposed to be one of the safest African countries. I am going now at a stage or recovery and repair of the genocide not of it happening now. I will hear and see memories of that time but it is not happening now. There must be much joy and positivity that I want to see and embrace and also one great memory I had was the landscape was beautiful. I have an agency looking out for me, I have my base in the hotel to start with so take one day at a time…and enjoy what joys it has to offer. It is not all trauma and danger so don’t go there carrying this or you will never even get on the plane.
Remember Paris, you felt the same tension which is actually more real than it is in Rwanda, but regardless you had an amazing time and it just gave you an additional passion and drive for the country. Body, don’t be scared and withdraw, embrace and engage in experiences that are going to touch you beyond anything you have touched you before, in an amazing way.
You’ve read your background books, you know what happened and can go reassured you are not some naïve tourist. But now is the time to read those books on recovery, that is why you are going there. Seeking these answers for yourself, how do they/you recover from trauma? Remember also, this was not your trauma, it was theirs. You were not in it and whilst you have seen the images this was not you and this was 20 years ago.
Empathise, understand, but don’t take on their trauma.