About us!

We are Amisadai and Louisa Monger (aged 15 and 13). In 2010, we moved to Tanzania in Africa - look at the map below to see if you can find it! We hope you will enjoy reading about our adventures and looking at our photos! Please don't forget to send us a message too!

Sunday, 23 October 2016

The Rwandan Genocide

In 1994, there was a gruesome mass killing in Rwanda as Hutus tried to wipe out the tribe of Tutsis. It was a major and tragic event in Rwandan history, in which over a million people were killed. Innocent people were murdered simply because of the tribe they were born into. People were separated from their families and houses were looted and burnt down. People were jeered at, brutally tortured, raped or cut up before being killed. It was horrific. It was gruesome. It was a country full of hatred, jealousy, fear and bloodshed. And the rest of the world just watched it happen.

It all started with cows, many years before. There are three tribes in Rwanda: Hutu, Tutsi and the minor tribe of the Twa. When the Belgians colonised the country, they decided if you had more than ten cows, you were Tutsi, and if you had less than ten cows then you were a Hutu. Because the Belgian colony preferred the Tutsis to the Hutus. Tutsis, although smaller grew to be the more powerful tribe. This often caused friction between Hutus and Tutsis. Tutsis were given the best jobs, best schooling and the best houses. Over time, Belgians changed their minds and preferred the Hutus, causing further friction between the tribes. When Rwanda gained independence in 1963, the Hutus were in power. But not long after, Tutsi rebels from neighbouring countries came into Rwanda to attack the Hutus and regain their power, but their plan was ruined, because the Hutus had somehow got wind of their upcoming attacks. Many Tutsis were killed, as well as lots of Tutsis in prime positions in government. Other Tustis left went into hiding in other countries.

In April 1994, the Rwandan president's plane was shot down. Both the Rwandan and Burundian presidents were killed. The Hutus say it was shot down by the Tutsi with the RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) launching attack. The Tutsi say it was Hutu extremists. Whoever it was, it started the Genocide. Hutus believed that the Tutsis were seeking to kill not just the president but all of the Hutus. They exaggerated reports and spread fear through propaganda. The Hutus said, 'We should kill them, before we ourselves get killed.' So in the early hours of April 6th, the Rwandan genocide began.

Hutus were given their orders, “Kill all Tutsi, even the children. We do not want the next generation of Tutsis to grow up and fight us back. After all, a baby snake is still as snake! We need to kill them! Kill them all! Exterminate these cockroaches!” It started out as just the soldiers killing. Then those in power demanded all normal, everyday Hutus to join in the killing. Some chose to. Others decided it was their duty. But many were forced to, against their own will and better judgement. If they did not fight they were killed, along with their families, for being Hutu traitors.

Tutsi were killed in many ways. Some were shot. Others were blown up by grenades. Some were burnt alive. Most were sliced up by machetes, being tortured first. Some starved. Some were thrown down into latrines and had rocks thrown onto their heads. Some were buried alive or dropped off 200m cliffs. Babies were left to die. People were badly hurt, and then tossed onto to the streets and left to bleed to death. Whipped. Beaten. Stabbed. The Interahamwe (the Hutu paramilitary organization) were merciless and ruthless. Insensitive and brutal. Lost and driven by evil.

Many people fled to churches and chapels, as they were godly places which had always been known as a safe refuge. But the killers paid no attention to that, and burnt the churches down, with everyone inside. If they tried to escape, they were shot.

Soon, neighbours were killing neighbours, friends were killing friends, even families killing families. Many mothers were forced to kill their own children. Hutu children were used a spies, and betrayed their school mates and friends. It was awful. No one knew whom to trust, or if there was anyone to trust.

The killing continued for one hundred days, but in that short time, over a million people were killed. Everything stopped for the killing. Schools and businesses were shut until the “job” was done and all Tutsis were dead. Ten thousand people killed a day. The ethnic killing did end, but the deep cut made from losing loved ones so tragically would never go away; there would always be a scar.

The Rwandan genocide has broken the hearts of many people. But out of the pain, the country is now striving to encourage all people to live out forgiveness. Rwanda is now a very beautiful country, and it is hard to imagine that not so long ago, it was a dirty, unsafe country with streets lined with corpses. Rwandans have made a real effort to forgive one another and to start afresh. Though they will never be able to forget the great loss of thousands of innocent people, they can forgive, and teach the rest of the world to do so as well. They know that bitterness and revenge will not help, but love will. Why do people despise people simply because they are “different”? Why do we not love one another?

We visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial, a place of remembrance and learning. Rwandans want their suffering and their mistakes to be an example to the rest of the world, to prevent the same thing from happening again. To show that it is possible to forgive and to live together as one people. And that is why I want to share this with you.

I highly recommend a book I have just finished reading, called Left To Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza. It is very heart moving and deeply sad. It really captures the story of the Rwandan Genocide through the experiences of Immaculee. It is very well written. It is impossible to really understand or imagine the fear, struggles and torture that this girl, Immaculee, goes through. But it is good for the world to hear her story. A story more than just survival, a story of forgiveness.

Louisa at the graves
As Louisa was too young to go inside the memorial, she visited the burial site and gardens where over 250 000 people killed in the genocide have been buried. (This is like more than the whole population of Basingstoke). While she waited, she made a mini-documentary about it.

Click here or play at the top to watch it now. As you do, remember those that lost their lives and pray for a better future.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Miracle Bunnies

Last Sunday, in the dead of the night, we had a tragedy. But out of this tragedy we have a miracle! Read on to find out what happened...

Last Sunday, Sprinkles, one of our mummy rabbits, jumped out of her hutch when the guard opened the door. Sadly, he didn't notice. The dogs found her and almost killed her, but not quite. They then left her dying under the hutch. The next morning our day guard found her and we placed her back in the hutch. She didn't seem herself; her eyes were half closed and she wasn't moving or eating normally. But even in her struggles, she fed her five babies. She cared for them and loved them, until the next day, we found her lying dead by their side.

It was sad to lose Sprinkles, but now we had to focus on saving her five baby bunnies who were only ten days old. So we decided to move two of them into Sniffles nest of babies (she had given birth on the same day as Sprinkles and had four of her own). We were desperately hoping that she would welcome them, and not reject them. She took one kit as her own, so we put in the second one, nuzzling it in between the other kits, so she wouldn't be noticed so much and she wouldn't smell so different. But at first Sniffles wouldn't let her feed, and tried to eat the poor bunny. We were really worried, but this mum was their only hope of survival.

Now, a week later, the two kits are very happy and doing well with their foster mum and new brothers and sisters.

It would have been too much to give all the kits to Sniffles as she wouldn't have enough milk (and also we weren't sure any foster kits would survive with her). And so we adopted the other three bunnies. We mixed up a formula of milk, egg yolk and honey and have been feeding them the milk from pippettes every day, at 5:45 in the morning, 4:00pm in the afternoon, and sometimes in the evening. We wash them gently with a warm wet flannel and most importantly massage them to help them to urinate and poo as they are too young to do so by themselves.

They are very sweet, but this week has been very tiring! It is seriously hard work and although it was fun at first, it isn't always easy and it takes a long time to feed them all! They are now two and half weeks old and after keeping them alive for a week, we hope they will survive. They starting now to be able to eat some solid food. It is amazing they are all alive! They are all miracle bunnies!

Me feeding the smallest kit
Sniffles' four kits

Louisa holding her favourite, the biggest kit
They are sooooo small, and extremely cute!

Inviting some friends to help to look after the bunnies

Bunny feeding time