Before the 1993 crisis, this had been a mixed Hutu and Tutsi community. Now the Tutsi were gone, their homes destroyed.
|On the hills of Muramvya
Pamphile Ndarugirire led us to his village, a couple of kilometres south of Rutegama. We parked the Toyota on the edge of the road and climbed up a hill, past cassava fields and the occasional goat.
We set up the interviews on some rocks. Beyond the few curious villagers who came to watch us stretched a spectacular vista of rolling hills and valleys. Pamphile sat next to his wife and was interviewed first. Jean Marie Ndayishikaniye, the Tutsi who saved him, sat in the foreground and looked on in silence.
On the back way down after finishing the interviews we passed a some ruins. These were the homes of Tutsi, explained Pamphile. Before the 1993 crisis, this had been a mixed Hutu and Tutsi community. Now the Tutsi were gone, their homes destroyed. Pamphile joined us in the car for a ride back to Rutegama.
"People sometimes ask me 'what has your heroism done for you. What did you gain from it?'" He seemed to be struggling with an answer to this. "Then people like you who come to hear our stories give us hope."