Rwanda, Forever!

Market greeter. This young boy greeted us as we entered a local market, who can refuse this smile.
Market greeter. This young boy greeted us as we entered a local market, who can refuse this smile.

From a violent past, the people of  "the land of 1,000 hills" have endured.

When we told people we were going to Rwanda we got the same incredulous look soon followed by the "why aren't they at war or something?" from all our friends and family. I can't lie; all the comments gave us some pause.  I am so glad we pushed past the ignorance and followed our gut, if we hadn't we would have missed out on some of our best experiences traveling. Rwanda got on to our radar as a destination from a colleague of mine who has an NGO and does some great work in the region; she could not stop talking about the beauty of the country and the warmth of the people. Having a chance to experience it myself, I wholeheartedly agree, the Rwandese are a strong, united, resilient people. Rwanda has been able to bounce back from the horrific genocide of 1994; and, now aims to be the "Singapore of Africa." From what we saw and experienced during our week, they are well on their way. I suggest hiring a driver and hooking up with "Go Kigali" for their great City tour and "Azizi Life" if you would like to do some work in the community while you are there. Try to get there before everyone else discovers this wonderful place. Oh, and if you check out the location of "Wakanda" on the map of Africa, you will realize it's the exact location of Rwanda. Rwanda, Forever!!

A classic image of Rwandan women. The ladies in the front carry pots that probably contain a gift of beans or something for the house they will visit. The lady in the back is carrying her baby on her back, like just about all the women in Rwanda do. As you can see in the picture, it's not uncommon to see a baby, laundry or food, handbag and sometimes water all being carried at the same time.

A farm in one of the rural areas of Rwanda. 70 percent of the population are farmers.

Three Rwandese boys are enjoying a bike ride. Rwanda is a country of bikes and cyclists.

A zebra in the Akegara National Park.

Ladies from the weaving collective in Muhanga share a laugh, probably my wife telling a story about my cooking.

A little girl from a rural village on the way to Akegara National Park.

Our group is peeling some sweet potatoes for lunch. Sweet potatoes, beans, and avocado are staples of the Rwandese diet. They don't eat much meat because it's too expensive.

Sunset in Rwanda. No matter where you are in the country you have a fantastic view.

Damien Jackson is of West Indian parentage and was born in Gibraltar. Raised in NY, his passion for travel and telling people's stories have taken him all across the globe. His images aim to give the viewer a glimpse into lives, culture, and energy of his subjects. Damien is married with four children and resides in Brooklyn

Follow Damien's work at his website: Nedari Photography and on Instagram: damien.jackson06

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