My first encounter with Humanity
It was six month ago when I first visited Rwanda.
When I took the challenge to visit Rwanda and meeting survivors of genocide I wasn’t very much aware of the fact that this would turn out to be my first encounter with Humanity. My thoughts were running around my friends and other people telling me to remain safe. Violent and Under developed was tagged with Rwanda down here. But something within me wasn’t really cared about all of them. I wanted to visit and know and experience by myself. That time I had no idea what would I really want to do by visiting. Thanks to my mom Dr. Sejal Sanghavi a renowned Homeopath and her friend Mr. Clarence Fernandes, Indian Representative to Rwanda Development Board, they had made all arrangement so that I can earn the rich experience and extend further when I am back.
The impact that the British Empire had on the world went unnoticed until I landed at the Rwandan airport. I noticed that the western literature seems to have two main flaws: The first is the constant reference to Africa as one country. To think of this massive continent as one homologous piece of land, whose people have no distinct identity. The second rose from the inability to understand diversity of cultures. Now because of this before even being aware of the Rwandan Genocide, my mind was filled with misconceptions, ideas that were influenced by stories stated above. Some may not believe this, but it almost got to a point where I asked my mom around 30 mins from the airport if we landed in the right country because I could not see people in red robes, raising their spears, chasing animals. I was so baffled and all my mom could do was laugh.
But my stay here made me reach to many unexplored things and meanings. One remarkable thing this experience did was redefine the meaning of an ‘underdeveloped country’ because Rwanda is simply a country who still hasn’t explored its potential. Who is yet to overcast the shadow of dark people and slavers. They are yet to come to the living term that they are as potent as any other communities or cultures or other so called clusters of Humans. They are yet to believe in themselves. Rather what I found within them as the most beautiful and happy people I have had ever met so far.
While I was in the country, I decided to visit and spend time with a few genocide survivors, mainly widows. Their bodies still had scars from the genocide, and the details of how their children and husbands died were as if the genocide happened yesterday. It didn’t go unnoticed that every single one of them was making a constant effort to move on with their lives and they did this by becoming experts in their hobbies, some at singing, some knitting, and others dancing. It was as if each one of them was trying to rebuild their lost confidence, trust, and love on humanity.
I won’t lie, I was scared to meet them because I wasn’t sure what i could give them. I wasn’t sure what I, an outsider who hasn’t gone through half of they have, could do. At the end, I went there with an intention to help them forget. To my surprise, I came across something phenomenon- their pasts made them stronger, it made them value lives and gave each one of them a new perspective to share. It made them powerful, it motivated them to work towards ‘change’, and most of all it made them a source of inspiration in our lives.
We live in a world that everyone knows is interdependent, but insufficient.
Profoundly it is unequal (in its distribution of resources), unstable (in threats of terror like this genocide) and unsustainable (like climate changes and habitat destruction).
Even in this world with flaws, I believe Rwandans deserve to live a happy life, a life which is fuelled by the power of free will.
My this experience with Rwandan survivors and all I have learned in this process is attracting me to visit Rwanda again and again with some concrete project which can help a few of them ‘wiping the memories and healing from within, all the horrifying and animalistic experiences they have had.’ The project that can help them restore trust in themselves and humanity and their importance to the world. The project that can invoke self emergence. Once again. I Neysa Sanghavi, having a strong vision and conviction of seeing the Rise to Pure Life, as in Costa Rican, Pura Vida, take this opportunity and invite to join with me hand to hand heart to heart and soul to soul. Together not just to erase the word and all the effects of genocide we erased from the world forever.