It is impossible to discuss Rwanda without mention of the country's 1994 genocide: the 3 month period between April and June of 1994 during which decades of ethnic conflict fomented by colonial policies exploded and approximately 1 million people were killed. However, the story of Rwanda today is not one of tragedy, but rather one of hope and progress.
Today Rwanda is one of the safest countries in Africa. Through processes that involve collective healing and community justice, Rwanda is not only embarking on the process of recovery, but is also in the process of implementing an aggressive development plan. Rwanda's mission-driven, anti-corruption government has a plan called "Vision 2020" that aims to make Rwanda a middle-income country by 2020. Over the past decade, Rwanda has seen incredible progress and today has one of the fastest growing economies in central Africa.
To set foot in Rwanda, among the stunning natural beauty of mountains and hills, to see the contrast of red dirt with the deep green of the hills and the clear blue of Lake Kivu, to exchange warm greetings with strangers walking down the street and to speak with Rwanda's leaders about the their plans for the future is truly inspirational.