I was part of the mob that looted Pelagie’s house. She was very angry after the genocide and I was so scared of her. When I got released from jail it was hard to meet her on the street.
During the workshop, I managed to ask her for forgiveness and she forgave me. The cow we were given strengthened our relationship. Today I would say that things are good between us.
During the genocide I was pregnant. We had to run away from the killers and it was not easy. My husband went before me, but I found him at the parish where many Tutsis had gathered. We were sent to Kabgayi but that is when my labor started. I gave birth on the way and my husband helped as he could. We managed to get to the hospital after 3 days because we had to pass by bush paths to hide from the killers. At Kabgayi hospital my husband was sent to the camp of Tutsis who had fled, I stayed with one child plus my baby. One doctor helped me by cleaning my womb that was clogged up by blood everything that has to come out with the baby. They had not yet come. He told me that it was going to be painful because he would not give me anesthesia, and I assure you it was!
Later I was also sent to the Tutsi camp and there my baby died because of lack of milk. When we were still at the hospital there was a nun who would give him milk. Killers would come to rape women from the camp, and take away men to kill. Having a small child saved me from the rapers, and it is a miracle that my husband survived.
Back at my home, almost everyone was killed, my husband’s family was killed and our properties were looted.
When the genocide ended and we came home, I learned that Francois was part of the mob that killed my brother-in-law and looted us. I was so angry and full of hate. I would look at a woman who had children that would have my son’s age and got mad. My husband is a peaceful man, he did not bother about anything much. He was ready to forgive the killers and looters, but I was not. I could not believe how he would do that. I went to Gacaca on his behalf because he was not interested. Francois and others like him came to him and he forgave them, he did not ask them to pay back what they looted, and that made me angrier.
When I came to the CARSA workshop I realized how my hatred was destroying me. I started the healing journey and was able to forgive Francois.
We later got a cow and sharing its responsibilities strengthened our reconciliation journey. Today we are well with each other. I would say that we are good neighbors. I no longer fear him, and he no longer hides from me.