Sunday, June 8, 2014

Day 8: National University of Rwanda

Back in school…?

We began the day by visiting with National University of Rwanda students in a biology classroom.  Many of these students were seniors, still on campus because they were finishing their “memoirs.”  The memoir is similar to a senior thesis project, a study that they have prepared, which also shows their conclusions.  There were perhaps 20-25 students who spoke with us…more than 1/3 women.  It was a give and take session of questions going both ways.  As time passed, the number of Rwanda students winnowed…they needed to get back to their memoirs.  Five or six of the students walked with us (about a ½ mile down the road) to a nearby restaurant and we shared lunch.  I spent my time with a young man named Enock.  I was very impressed with him.  We spoke back forth on the walk and some during lunch.  His parents are deceased.  He has an elderly grandmother in her 90s and two young siblings.  Next year, Enock will graduate and will have to take a low paying job to help his family before he can really move on with his individual direction.  He has a few goals already in mind: Enock wants to teach English; he wants to help the less fortunate find jobs…  He has a strong sense of duty and faith…a very impressive man.


Michael met a genocide survivor among the students. 


In the afternoon, we stayed at the university observing the vervet monkeys that hang around on the campus.  It was our first monkeys!  We watched as they played, foraged, and groomed, and we learned how to recognize quickly the males and females.  As the monkeys moved away from us, we continued to walk through the arboretum.  The species of trees were marked; we saw varieties of eucalyptus as well as bamboo…and many other types of trees.  We planned to visit the university the next day to continue observation of the vervet monkeys. 

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