The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - 7
Continued from page 1
At the hotel, he said, life was very simi-
lar to scenes in the Academy Award-winning
movie, "Hotel Rwanda."
"We survived (by drinking) the swimming
pool water, that is correct," he said, adding
that they put the water in garbage cans and
didn't boil it before drinking, yet they some-
how never got sick.
As in the movie, Rusesabagina did in fact
face insubordination from his employees,
Kamilindi said, and routinely handed out
expensive alcohol to bribe officials.
One scene in the movie is particularly poi-
gnant for Kamilindi - when an evacuation
convoy leaves the hotel only to be stopped by
a large rebel roadblock.
"That roadblock was very huge, oh my
God. I myself was in that convoy," he said.
"I tell you that when I see it ... every time I
cannot help myself. I cry."
Kamilindi stared into the distance as he
remembered the long afternoon.
"There were many militia men and sol-
diers. They were armed with machetes, huge
batons and many, many other arms," he
At one point, the militia pointed out his
three-year-old daughter hiding inside the
truck. Kamilindi remembered their words.
"This young girl's a snake," they said. "We
have to kill her also."
Even now, at 14, his daughter remembers
that accusation and asks him the same ques-
tion she did that afternoon: "Am I a snake,
Daddy? Am I a snake?"
"We are still alive"
Today, Kamilindi's family lives in Belgium
where his ill wife receives medical treatment
and his daughter attends school. He plans to visit
them when his fellowship ends in April 2006,
but doesn't know what he'll do afterward.
If he can garner financial support, one
option is to pursue a master's degree of peace
and reconciliation at the University of Cov-
entry in Britain. He would use the degree in
the future to help Rwandan survivors heal the
"injuries in our hearts."
But he is not sure when he will return to his
home country of Rwanda.
"I think I have many things to discover,"
he said. "I need to forget one small time. It's
not easy to forget things you faced when they
To students who have seen the movie and
are passionate about helping survivors, the best
thing to do is to speak up when similar con-
flicts erupt, he said.
"The students have to remember if some-
thing like that happens somewhere, what can
we do? It's to tell the government, 'please do
something and stop that thing,"' he said.
While he didn't feel he could comment on
the ongoing massacres in Western Sudan, he
urged students to speak out and encourage the
United States to donate money for relief.
In Rwanda, education is key to stamping
out ignorance, he said. "At least 70 percent of
people don't go to school in my country. They
don't write, they don't read, they don't know it.
If this thing changed, it can give a better hope
to my country in the future."
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Continued from page 1
only get a few complaints per term speaks
of the climate of our University."
But Goodin added that part of the diffi-
culty in addressing the many concerns of
disabled students is that disability groups
have different needs and that many at the
University lack an understanding of the
struggles disabled individuals face. He
said that informing the campus com-
munity about the issues that concern
people with disabilities would improve
the social and academic environment for
For Hoekstra and other blind students,
such as Rackham student Fred Moss,
this lack of understanding often pres-
ents the greatest challenge arising from
their disability. Moss, blind since birth,
said blind students must constantly edu-
cate their peers about the concerns and
desires of the blind.
"Sometimes you feel you're con-
stantly having to teach people what con-
stitutes an appropriate interaction, and
that can be tiring," Moss said. "Often I
feel like I need to make a handbook on
Moss added that although his gener-
al experience with people on the street
and in the community has been posi-
tive, he wishes others would recognize
the tremendous effort individuals with
disabilities must often put forth just to
live their lives.
"You have to be willing to go into
situations and deal with obstacles and
your own discomfort," Moss said. "You
are always conquering it. My biggest
coping mechanism is pushing through
- but that is hard to learn, and I under-
stand why people with disabilities get
tired of pushing."
In fact, Hoekstra said that while he is
fairly accustomed to living on his own
and dealing with the everyday issues that
relate to his disability, he is not as well
adjusted to dealing with other people.
Although Hoekstra said the social envi-
ronment of the University is better than
that of his hometown, he said he still
encounters individuals who focus only
on his disability.
"People will come up to me on the
street and ask if I need help when I am
getting along just fine," Hoekstra said.
"Some people will assume I can't do
anything, and others ask tons of ques-
tions and never learn other things about
myself. It is nice when you meet a person
who doesn't say anything or forgets that
I'm blind completely. It's important (peo-
ple) realize (my blindness) is a minor
part of my life," he said.
In hopes of improving the overall
understanding of the issues surrounding
disabilities, students and faculty devel-
oped a program last year promoting the
study of disability at the University. The
University of Michigan Initiative in Dis-
ability Studies, or UMINDS, provides
an interdisciplinary course on disability
topics each semester and funds research
grants and lectures from visiting scholars.
"The primary goal of UMINDS is
to expand diversity at the University by
integrating the study of disability into
research, scholarship and teaching," said
Tobin Siebers, chair of the UMINDS
steering committee. "We need to make
education accessible to everyone. We
need to change the ways we teach, design
buildings, develop subject matter and
approach the relationship between stu-
dents and teachers."
Siebers said that the ultimate goal of
UMINDS is to establish a disability stud-
ies program at the University.
"Once you begin to look at disability
as a critical concept and not as a personal
defect, it can be seen as an intellectual tool
to approach other fields of knowledge," he
said. "There is the potential to change the
way we see the world."
Moss said the UMINDS initiative is
one of the greatest strides toward increas-
ing the understanding of people with dis-
abilities that he has seen as a student at
"I am really excited to see the kind of
growth going on around that initiative,"
Moss said. "If students with disabilities
are on any campus, then indeed we have
the opportunity to participate in the dis-
cussion around all kinds of issues. The
more we are present, the better."
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For Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2005
(March 21 to April 19)
Joint efforts between friends and
groups might help people in another
country or from another culture.
Similarly, joint efforts can promote mat-
ters connected with publishing and the
(April 20 to May 20)
People notice you today! Whether you
know it or not, you will call attention to
yourself. Therefore, be on your best
behavior. First impressions count for a
(May 21 to June 20)
Join forces with someone today to do
something exciting and different. You
feel like you're on an adventure.
Conversations are friendly and support-
ive. You're affectionate with others.
(June 21 to July 22)
This is a good day to share things with
others. You might receive a gift or favor
from someone, especially a partner or
close friend. Think about how you can
return the favor.
(July 23 to Aug. 22)
This is a favorable day to talk to part-
ners, close friends and members of the
general public. It's easy to establish a
the arts. All things beautiful call your
(Oct. 23 to Nov. 21)
Discussions with family members,
especially a parent, will go well today.
Since partnerships have been difficult
lately, perhaps you need to talk to some-
(Nov. 22 to Dec. 21)
You have the gift of gab today. Enjoy
discussions with neighbors, siblings and
relatives. You have big ideas for plans
(Dec. 22 to Jan. 19)
You might be able to earn money by
working behind the scenes today.
Contact with the government could be
another favorable source of profit for
(Jan. 20 to Feb. 18)
A female friend can be sympathetic
and helpful to you today. Set aside time
for a heart-to-heart talk with someone.
Don't be afraid to share your inner feel-
ings and insecurities.
(Feb. 19 to March 20)
This is a pretty good day to deal with
VIPs, bosses and the government. It's
easy to get agreement or permission if
you need it. (At least try.)
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