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Students Explore, Evolve, and Blog in Rwanda

Students Explore, Evolve, and Blog in Rwanda

Posted: January 11, 2012

On January 4, a group of Buffalo State theater students left for a theater-based and compassion-fueled study trip to Rwanda as part of the Anne Frank Project. While on the trip, each Buffalo State student is maintaining a blog to share stories, personal thoughts, pictures, and videos of their collaborations with Rwandan theater students. The blogs also document the group's visits to orphanages, wildlife reserves, refugee camps, and genocide memorials.

A concept repeated throughout all the students’ emotionally charged words is the realization that their lives are changing:

“It's only Day 1 and I've been impacted so much.” Julia Smith, January 5

“I learned more about myself and my neighbor in this one day than in most all my life.” Kara Ashby, January 7

“This trip has been truly amazing…and we still have another 12 days left!” Shabar Rouse, January 7

Usually, life-changing experiences are recognized in hindsight. Only when we reflect back upon something do we realize the impact it has had on our lives.

In rare instances, however, when confronted with emotional experiences so intense, we do not need to wait for hindsight; we recognize the enormity of what is happening as it happens. For the students traveling in Rwanda, each experience is accompanied by an immediate appreciation and nearly simultaneous reflection.

On the first day of her journey, Tiesha Thomas wrote, “I mean, you come to Africa hoping you have a good time and possibly change your life while you’re at it...When you actually feel it happening, it’s scary.”

To view the blog entries, visit the Anne Frank Project website.

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