“I Have Time” – Odette

26. October 2017 Uncategorized 0

We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families- PT. 1:

Odette was selected to share her story with Gourevitch.  They sat down and he asked for her entire life story.

She was only three when the genocide began, but remembers the killings and machetes very clearly.  Even in her young state, the scaring memory of her house burning remains permanent in her mind.  She was forced to hide away for two months, living solely off of milk.

He contrasts the rough beginnings of her story by providing a description of the pleasant setting she is now in before continuing.  She skips a portion of her life, to the point where she cried as a child over the idea of her father leaving to be killed.

Gourevitch does a good job of explaining how the Tutsis count the years of their life in this way.  They count the years of terror, none others.

Once her Uncles were killed, her father ordered a truck to take them to the Congo.  Unfortunately she had a large family.  There was one grandmother who could not fit, which means all of them were to stay and die.  Her family, large as it was, made up the majority of the remaining Tutsi population in the village.

Their story takes a turn after many years of living in poverty and gaining the trust of the other villagers.  Eventually their protection came in the form of a village councillor providing a lie.  He made them into Hutus, although Odette does not recall how this happened.  She claimed it was never spoken of and could tell it was a humiliating part of her story, despite the fact that it saved her for two years.

I chose to stop at this point in the beginning of Odettes story because I believe it is one of the most interesting.

People were able to choose the worth of others, which is something I have great distaste for.  Never have I believed it is appropriate for someone to classify someone else.  While the villagers were doing this out of care, not wanting to see their neighbors be killed, they had to give up a piece of their identity to fit into the population and avoid an almost certain death.

Culture and heritage is an important part of understanding who you are and where you come from.  I can never imagine the hard decision her father had to make in order to protect his family.

 

Questions:

-Was there a religious difference between the two groups?

-Why did it matter what the Belgians thought about the Hutus and the Tutsis?

-How did the Hutus gain such an immense amount of control? Because they had more votes being in the majority of the population?


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