Lisa Rogoff

Lisa Rogoff (Survivor Corps in Rwanda): Lisa has spent much of her professional career promoting human rights. She earned a BA from Colgate University. She then worked for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on Conscience where she produced Voices on Genocide Prevention, a weekly podcast. Lisa then worked at the ENOUGH Project, directing campaigns to raise awareness about the crises in Sudan, Congo and Uganda. Lisa returned to academia to pursue a joint-degree at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and McDonough School of Business. While at Georgetown she worked at the Clinton Global Initiative, designing the Human Rights and Peace Track for the CGI’s second annual conference for university students. During her first year at graduate school, Lisa also worked with the Grassroots and Issues Management Team at APCO Worldwide, a global communications consulting firm. After her fellowship, Lisa wrote: "My experience in Rwanda has taught me the importance of flexibility. I’ve also seen the importance of empowering women...I don’t know that I’ve changed the way I look at myself, though I have come to understand just how fortunate I am to have been born in my circumstances. I have met so many wonderful and talented men and women in Rwanda who have been unable to realize their fullest potential because of their economic, social, or political situations.”

ENOUGH traveling…

28 Jul

Candice, Sarina, Lisa

You can really never have enough of ENOUGH.  So, I was delighted when my former ENOUGH colleagues, Candice and Sarina, arrived in Kigali for a few days before taking off for the DRC.  We were supposed to go with Bryan to Jinja, Uganda for some serious “wild on the Nile” rafting, but due to time constraints and a few rescinded car offers, we had to alter our plans (as some might say, TIA!), but we managed to have a fantastic time.


On Friday, we took off bright and early with our driver, Emmay, for Akagera National Game Park in eastern Rwanda.  Led through the park by our guide, Diana, we saw everything there was to see (minus the elephants).  Giraffes, and zebras, and hippos, oh my!  Oh, and some crocodiles, impalas, monkeys, baboons, topis, waterbuck antelopes, reedback antelopes, and bushback antelopes.  Not bad for a day’s work.  We finished off the day with a relaxing meal at Heaven; and it really was heavenly.

Giraffe and Zebra

Saturday did not go exactly as planned.  I learned late Friday night that the next day was Umuganda (“contribution”) – a mandatory morning of service that occurs every last Saturday of the month in Rwanda – and buses, motos, and taxis do not run as everyone must participate in Umuganda.  I called Sarina and Candice to inform them that our trip to Kibuye would be slightly delayed.

I went for a walk during Umuganda and found myself quite unnerved by the absence of people and traffic on the streets.  The few cars that passed by were immediately pulled over by the police, ticketed, and forced to remain parked until Umuganda ended.  During Umuganda, everyone – from the President to government officials to those living in small villages – is supposed to particpate in projects such as cleaning the roads, doing upkeep on public property, or clearing grass around the roadways.  I have read that it is also a time for the public to speak with government officials on a casual basis, but I have not figured out how often this really happens.

Anyway, around noon, our bus finally left for Kibuye, and took us on a most nauseating and uncomfortable ride.  Squished into a tiny matatu for three hours that raced down tightly winding mountain bends was a recipe for disaster.  Within three hours, we had two pukers.  The driver was kind enough to slightly decrease the speed with each round of vomit.

Stepping off the bus, we were able to recover quicker than expected as we were surrounded by beautiful views of Lake Kivu.  Shortly after checking into Hotel St. Jean and enjoying a Primus on the hotel balcony, we were greeted by my first Rwandan rain storm (or rain for that matter) since I arrived in June.  We waited out the storm over dinner at Hotel Bethanie.  And then we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Four hours later, our food arrived, we gobbled down our “sizzlers” and pasta, and headed back to the hotel.

View from the balcony of Hotel St. Jean in Kibuye

Sunday morning was overcast, but by 11am the sun was coming out and we headed out on a boat ride to Amahoro (“peace”) Island.  The ride was a good chance for Candice to confront her fears after a treacherous ride on Lake Kivu during her last visit to Congo, and a perfect opportunity for us to soak in the gorgeous views.  The island was stunning and I only wish we had had more time.  But alas, our nauseating ride back to Kigali called… and that was one ride we didn’t want to do at night.

Candice at Amahoro

When we returned to Kigali, I said goodbye to Candice and Sarina as they headed off to the DRC today.  Be sure to check out some of the awesome work they are doing with their “Raise Hope for Congo” campaign.

I can’t seem to load up my photos, but you can see all of our adventures in Akagera here, and photos from Kibuye here.

Posted By Lisa Rogoff

Posted Jul 28th, 2009

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