Saturday 11 August 2018

My Father, Maker of the Trees

Finished July 27
My Father, Maker of the Trees: How I Survived the Rwandan Genocide by Eric Irivuzumugabe with Tracey D. Lawrence, read by Dion Graham

This memoir is that of Eric Irivuzumugabe, who was sixteen at the time of the genocide. It tells of his life from just before the genocide to a decade later. It is the portion telling of his experience during the days of the genocide, along with the experiences of several other family members that was the most terrifying and poignant. People didn't know which way to go to be safe, and many thought that the violent men chasing them would be after the men and the older boys, so they left the small children with the women, not realizing the extent the violence would reach. Some were hid by brave neighbours, but the practice of violence to those that did hide people was enough to deter many from this action.
Of Eric's immediate family, only himself and two younger brothers survived. In his extended family, some uncles, an aunt and some cousins survived. His grandfather, a man who had survived two previous genocides, did not.
In the shock following these days, looking for answers, Eric was drawn to Christianity and the church and much of the remaining book is about his conversion, the people in the church, both local and foreign that he grew to trust, and his career within the church subsequently.

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