Encounters with conflict and peace

Time itself seemed broken

"Not a single member of my family had survived...

the neighbouring folk were dead, the warehouse looted, the trucks stolen. I had lost everything, I was indifferent to life.

Nyamata was very desolate, since all the roofs, all the doors and windows, had been taken off. But it was time itself that seemed broken... We no longer knew when it had all begun, the number of days and nights it had lasted, what season it was, and truly in the end we didn't care.

Rwandan shops, Nyaratovu
a shoulder to lean on
The children went out to catch hens in the undergrowth; we started to eat meat, we began to fix things, we tried to get back into at least some of the old routines. We took one day at a time, which we spent seeking the company of friends with whom we could spend the night, so as to avoid running the risk of dying, forsaken in a nightmare.

One morning, some friends came to me with a sum of money and said: “Marie-Louise, take this... you must start your business again.” I had the shop door put back on; the trade came back, but all hope had gone.

I keep an eye out for dangers great and small everywhere. I no longer have the one who loved me, I can no longer find a shoulder to lean on.”

Marie Louise Kagoyire. 45 years old, Shopkeeper Nyamata High Street
From Into the quick of life. The survivors speak by Jean Hatzfeld

< previous page    |    next page >