Rwanda – Day 1 January 3, 2014

Our first full day in Rwanda kicked off with a hearty breakfast after a well deserved night’s sleep. We linked up with our guides from Thousand Hills and headed to the Genocide Memorial. I would love to write more about this memorial however, I am still searching for words that would describe what I saw as well as the emotions that ran through me as I walked the memorial. Meanwhile, the summary below is taken directly from Wikipedia. The Rwandan Genocide was a genocidal mass slaughter of ethnic Tutsis by ethnic Hutus that took place in 1994 in the East African state of Rwanda. Over the course of approximately 100 days (April 6 through mid-July) over 500,000 people were killed, according to a Human Rights Watch estimate. Estimates of the death toll have ranged from 500,000–1,000,000, or as much as 20% of the country’s total population. It was the culmination of longstanding ethnic competition and tensions between the minority Tutsi, who had controlled power for centuries, and the majority Hutu peoples, who had come to power in the rebellion of 1959–62.

Beneath the concrete tops lay the bodies of some 300,000 genocide victims.
Nikon D4, 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 58mm, ISO320, 1/640 sec at f/8.0

No explanation needed.
Nikon D4, 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm, ISO 320, 1/320 sec at f/8.0

A rose lays on top of the ‘open grave’ display.
Nikon D4, 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm, ISO 320, 1/250 sec at f/10.0

Following the tour of the memorial, it was time to head to the Mountains of the Volcanoes National Park. With a near constant altitude climb, we arrived at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, our home for the next 4 days. The lodge is located in the Musanze Providence. This area is regarded as the bread basket for Rwanda. With abundant rainfall and rich volcanic soil, this area provides the majority of the agricultural products in Rwanda.

Hillside view of the rich agricultural fields -not one inch goes unused.
Nikon D4, 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 58mmm ISO320, 1/500 sec at f/10.0

Cheers and happy photo’ing

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