2. Rwanda’s Metamorphosis

Travel Warning

Boston, August 2001. Toward the end of dinner, Mary pushed an envelope across the table: “I told my dad you were moving to Rwanda. He made me promise to give you this!” I took the package without second thoughts. I was off to Kigali in less than a week.

The next morning, I opened the envelope. Under the seal of the United States, the title read: TRAVEL WARNING. “The US embassy has confirmed continued insurgent activity in Northern Rwanda,” it began. The warning almost suggested that Rwanda was still at war. An Internet search confirmed that other western nations had similar travel warnings in place.

The international media coverage confirmed the bad news on Rwanda. Even in 2001, articles dealt primarily ...

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