Getting Ready for Rwanda


Last week, my son Paul asked why I was looking so sad. I explained that I was reading a series of books about Rwanda, and in particular about the genocide of 1994. I will be traveling with the TechWomen (US State Department mentoring program) delegation to Rwanda next month and am learning about the history of that area of Africa.

As disturbing as my reading is, I know the importance of advance preparation when traveling. In 1979, after I graduated from U.C. Berkeley, I backpacked for six months through Europe, ending up with a long stay at the Kibbutz called Ashdot Ya’akov near the Sea of Galilee in Israel. After the Teheran hostage crisis developed in November 1979, I headed home, ending up in an almost-empty youth hostel one night on Mount Carmel. One of the other hostel guests was a young woman from Germany who had come to Israel for a vacation during her college break. At the time, German schools did not teach about the Holocaust. When I met her, this girl was deeply shocked after someone told her about the history of her homeland and the place she had come. She spent the night sobbing with grief, saying over and over “I did not know. I did not know.”

So far, I have read:

Of course, I am also working on all of the other preparations needed for a big trip, particularly since I will take a few days after the delegation period to trek with Ecotours to visit the mountain gorillas. I visited the PAMF Travel Medicine department and have new Yellow Fever, MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella), and Typhoid immunizations. I tried out my old hiking boots and got a flat (see photo below). So, I am now getting used to a new pair of Lowa – Renegade boots. Ged Caddick of Ecotours has warned us to expect mud, so I also bought new rain gear at REI.  I have binoculars but I am still thinking how to pack without zip lock bags…


Images Copyright 2013-2014 by Katy Dickinson


Filed under Mentoring & Other Business, News & Reviews

2 responses to “Getting Ready for Rwanda

  1. Pingback: Katy’s 2013 Book List | KatysBlog

  2. Griffy

    Sounds like another exciting trip: Enjoy. We’ll miss you at the party!

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