Blood for the People, An Excerpt from Sojourner's Dream
by Angeline Bandon-Bibum
“Maybe we should leave. My uncle has invited us to go to France with him,” said Mother.
“I am not leaving Rwanda. I am a Rwandan, and this is my country,” said Father.
“But they are going to kill us,” said Mother.
“Let’s persevere,” said Father. “More than half of the school is Hutu now, and the people are happy about that. They seem grateful for that change.”
“We should go to France,” said Mother. “ I don’t like the way they look at us.”
“Enough. I have been to France, and I do not wish to live there,” said Father.
“ I read it is beautiful,” said Mother.
“Beautiful? It is modern. The architecture is beautiful,” said the Father.
“ I lived there as a student. I didn’t like the way I felt there though, like I did not exist.
It is a place where a black man becomes invisible, or a charicature. No…Rwanda is beautiful, naturally beautiful. The hills, the greenness of everything.. I am home here.”
“I’m afraid,” said Mother. “Things are so different now. Most of the children in your school are Hutu now, and some of the neighbors here hate us.”
“ I know, but most of the parents are good people. I am teaching their children.Many have brought us gifts. One woman even said that she misses the Mwami,” said Father.
The Mother still looked worried, but she bowed to her husband, as a dutiful Tusti wife does.
The mother was teaching her son how to pray the rosary when he smelled the smoke. He knew that his mother could smell it, too, because she stood up and rushed to the front yard. He ran to her side, and they both stood in horror. The son of a Hutu plantation worker, same running up to their home.
“Madam!Madam! The school is burning! The Master is there!” shouted the child. He was a boy of six,two years older than her son.
His mother screamed and ran in the direction of the school.
Copyright © 2005 by Angeline Bandon-Bibum