Back to Africa (mentally, at least)

Finally! Last week I finished a writing project that has been hanging over me for many, many months. Then, I gave myself a quick treat by going to NYC for a surprise bridal shower for my daughter Leila. Then, I had to finish some other bits of writing– editing a contribution to a book on “Violence” that the Center for Research on Women at Barnard College is publishing soon, other smaller tasks.
And on Wednesday, I finally got back into writing about Africa.
It was such a deep, deep pleasure to pull out, arrange, and then start diving back into all the materials I have gathered on the Rwanda portion of my Africa project so far. Actually, formally speaking, the project is called the “Project on Violence and its Legacies” (the VAIL project), and you can see some background info about it if you click here.
What I’m doing right now, is a small part of it: rushing to meet an end-of-September deadline to write a long article about the trip I made to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania, last April.
I have so much great material– from that trip; from my research trip to rwanda last year; and from the three years of background reading that I’ve done on the topic so far. As I started to lay out some of my documents, reports etc on my desk yesterday, prior to starting the writing, I had a strong feeling that trying to get this article written is like a fisher-person fashioning the right shape net to throw over a large, unruly school of fish, and then throwing it before gently gently pulling the catch together into some shape on the shore.
ICTR is so interesting, and so little studied. I met some really remarkable people while I was there. One was a younger journalistic colleague called Gabi Gabiro, who gave me some invaluable help there. (Yo, Gabi, what’s up with you these days anyway?) Folks can read Gabi’s current great reporting from inside his native Rwanda if they check into the HelenaPosted on Categories Africa--Rwanda (vintage)

6 thoughts on “Back to Africa (mentally, at least)”

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