Where There Be Dragonshttp://www.wheretherebedragons.com/program...
3200 Carbon Place Unit 102 Boulder, Colorado 80301 United States
Rwanda: Kigali, Rural Areas
June 27 - August 8
Marked by a tragic past, this land of innate beauty is one of stark ironies. On our journey through “The Land of a Thousand Hills”, we discover that despite the genocide that made this country known to the world in the early ‘90s, Rwanda is comprised of an easy-going people who are working towards making their motherland into a model of development leading the way for nations throughout the continent. We begin our journey in Rwanda with an inquisition into the multilayered complexities of modern history; visiting the well-crafted Kigali genocide memorial site, meeting with non-governmental organizations, and hearing Rwandans of various backgrounds speak of their experiences and perspectives. Heading south through farms layering the rolling landscape, we celebrate Rwanda’s rich cultural heritage passing through a traditional Chief’s compound and a renowned pottery center. We sit in on a traditional “Gacaca” court bearing witness to testimonies from the 1994 genocide, hear intellectuals from the university speak, and visit a harrowing memorial. We voyage into the countryside and enjoy a rural home-stay, living with local farmers whose terraced parcels of patch-worked land blanket the hilly landscape. Participating in a “live-in” service project, we stay in an orphanage that is home to children and young adults who have lost their parents during the turmoil of the 1994 genocide. Teaching English, playing games, hiking in the shadow of two remarkable volcanoes, and sleeping side-by-side with the Rwandan youth, we begin to bridge lives separated by seemingly different life circumstances and diverse cultures.
Following is a sample itinerary for Dragons Rwanda: The Transformation of Society Summer Abroad Program. Our sample itineraries are based on past courses; in order to meet instructor team goals, as well as the goals and interests of particular student groups, future itineraries are subject to change.
The program will begin in Kigali, where we will hold our orientation in the lovely and quiet neighborhood of Gicando. We will begin Kinyarwanda lessons, and we will identify our goals for the course. We will also introduce the Independent Study Project, and brainstorm ways to make the most out of summer in Rwanda.
From Kigali, we will move to Butare, a lovely forested University town in the South of Rwanda. In Butare we will focus primarily on the arts, drumming, dancing, language and crafts. We will visit the renowned National Museum, which will help us to contextualize Rwandan history and culture. Students will stay with families, and will also have the chance to work in a center for street children. We will begin lessons on human rights, development and comparative religion. Towards the end of our stay in Butare, we will visit Murambi, a harrowing genocide memorial.
Next, we will move to the north of the country to Ruhengeri, a relaxing dusty town in the shadow of two towering volcanoes. Here we will explore the Batwa (Pygmy) villages and discuss stereotypes and ethnicity, and human rights and land use. We will discuss tourism and community development as we hike for several days around the stunning Lake Burera. Depending on the group, we can also opt for a more challenging and rugged hike from Gisenyi to Kibuye around the incredible Lake Kivu.
We will visit Imbabazi, an orphanage where the youth are now graduating from high school and applying to college. The youth are participants in a photography project called “Through the Eyes of Children”, and will give our students one on one photography workshops and show them the world that they inhabit.
Next, we move back to Kigali. This time, we post ourselves in Nyamirambo, a vibrant and lively multi cultural neighborhood. Students will be given independence and time to move about the city as we explore numerous NGO’s and they research their ISP’s. We will discuss the peace and reconciliation process, and will also listen to a survivor story and watch a film on the genocide at the Kigali Genocide Memorial. We will collaborate with youth from Never Again Rwanda in discussions on development and peace building. We will also visit women’s co-ops and a coffee production site.
From Kigali, we move to Akagera national park, where we will camp for one night in the African savannah, under acacia trees and mist. After Akagera, we move to Ngarama, for our rural home stays in the Eastern Province. Here, every family has a cow and most of our host families are farmers. Students will learn how to cook Rwandan food and go to the fields with their families. We will walk through banana fields to a center for handicapped children and to a secondary school, where we will volunteer our time and energy with Rwandan youth. If was can manage the safety and logistics, we will hike to a Congolese refugee camp (within Rwanda) and spend the night learning about the issues that they face.
Next, we head to Kibuye on Lake Kivu, where students will present their ISP projects and we will discuss and process all that we have learned in the Land of A Thousand Hills.
Tuition includes everything except international flight medical insurance and small personal expenses (personal calls home personal snacks aside from meals laundry services, email/internet cafes, etc.)
American, European, Canadian, Australian, South African, Kiwi, Worldwide and Asian Participants.
Dragons programs are authentic, rugged and profound learning adventures that expose the beautiful and complex realities of the countries in which we travel. Featuring extended itineraries, Dragons programs encourage deep immersion into strikingly different physical and cultural landscapes, combining the best in experiential education, travel, service learning, and physically and intellectually challenging experiences. While programs vary in their focus - with some trekking and wilderness intensive, others strong on service and development studies, and still others language-oriented - all Dragons journeys are designed above all else to be fun, safe and honest educational experiences.