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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Messages 1 2 

Rwanda and Anastase by tucsonmike on 12 November 2007 1:45am
Anastase is a coworker who is from Rwanda's capital, Kigali. He was a well to do banker there. Then, the infamous genocide began. How the hell do you kill one million people in a matter of months? Anyway, Anastase had to flee, was tortured and had to live in the jungle @ one point.
He fled to Malawi, Kenya, South Africa and here.
I practice my French with him.
Re: Rwanda and Anastase by mrsthing on 12 November 2007 2:28am
Hard to imagine how a person maintains any sanity under conditions like that. He must be a really interesting guy.

My church sponsored some men from a refugee camp in Sierra Leone. One was from Liberia. At first he was ecstatic to be here. One rainy Sunday it was my turn to pick him up for services, and he was amazed that I showed up. Where he came from, no one went out in the rain, because it rained so hard the roads would wash out and people could be carried off. We had a particularly cold and snowy winter that year, and one Sunday I saw him looking gloomily out the window at the snow gleaming in the bright sunshine. I said something like, "Pretty amazing, isn't it? Have you ever seen snow before?" He said, no, only in the mountains in the distance. After an awkward pause, he said, "I wake up this morning, look out window and see snow, and think, 'Why I come this country?'" Poor guy, I think he was missing his wife and little girl, and the place where you have one set of clothes for all 12 months. I lost track of him, but I heard that he got his driver's license and got a job and moved to another town where there were some other Liberian immigrants and was doing okay.
Re: Rwanda and Anastase by tucsonmike on 12 November 2007 2:52am
Anastase is always laughing and chatting with other people. He is working on writing his story with my help. He is doing very well. His wife is quiet and dignified. He has four sons. The youngest is four years old and he is smart and funny.
Re: Rwanda and Anastase by mrsthing on 12 November 2007 9:24pm
Has he been in the US for very long?

Sounds like he's got quite a book in him!
Re: Rwanda and Anastase by tucsonmike on 13 November 2007 1:42am
It is just two years.
Re: Rwanda and Anastase by Lounge Trekker on 14 November 2007 1:44am
I recomend the book by Maj-General Romeo Dallaire (UN head of peacekeeping mission in Rwanda) called 'Shake Hands With the Devil'. If you don't read the book but have any interest in Rwanda, please read the interview with Maj-General Dallaire here:


The book will keep you awake reading it, then give you nightmares for weeks afterwards, because of the horrible events he recounts. Remembering this book, at this time, has washed my cheeks with tears. Reading this book will change you.

Incredible loss of life in such a short time. This book gives an excellent account of the strife that could have been stopped had there been profit or political gain in it for the governments of our 'civilized', developed nations.

I won't slander anyone by naming him, but this is a quote (given by Dallaire in his book) by a (country unamed here) government representative in reply to his government's inquiry about the economic fabric of Rwanda:

"There is nothing but humanity here."

Major General Dallaire was the head of the UN peacekeeping mission in Rwanda. The following link is to an excellent interview with Romeo Dallaire:


Re: Rwanda and Anastase by tucsonmike on 17 November 2007 6:59am
Pete, I ordered the book from the library.

Here is the link from Wikipedia about the Black Knight.

I copied the picture. It is going in Anastase's cubicle on Monday. He is not back @ work yet. Physical therapy did not clear him.
Re: Rwanda and Anastase by Lounge Trekker on 17 November 2007 7:13am
You will be impressed by Mr. Dallaire's knowledge of political, commercial and military structures both official and unofficial, on all sides of this multi-faceted issue. I took notes in an attempt to better understand it.

Unfortunately, I borrowed it from the library. I was 532cd in line and had to wait months for the book. I was unable to renew it and had to read it in two weeks. That is a brutal pace for a tome of this magnitude. I won't read it again, however. It tore my heart out.

Re: Rwanda and Anastase by tucsonmike on 17 November 2007 2:57pm
I may take notes as well, Pete. It seems it would behoove me to do so.
Re: Rwanda and Anastase by johnnythemonkey on 17 November 2007 4:00pm
Good critique Pete and you brought to the fore some important issues.Thank you for that as I think 'Blathering On 'should encompass anything from the banal to the topics of the day.
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