Cultural and Knowledge Exchange, Rwanda - Belgium
My name is Yoline Petit. I am 18 years-old and live in Belgium. Before leaving for Rwanda, I was very shy. I didn’t dare approach others and I was even sometimes suspicious of them. Once in Rwanda, I immediately noticed that people were different from people here in Europe.
A few days later, I was on a construction site where the project was close to completion. People were singing and dancing around me but I wasn’t able to totally join in. I was too reserved to really let myself go. In the middle of a danse, a man by the name of David took my hand and led me to danse alongside everyone else.
Taken by surprise, I followed their movements. I forced myself to conquer my fear and to have faith in David. It was probably my best decision during the entire trip. Once freed from the shyness, I was able to truly get to know others.
I was no longer afraid of ridicule. I dared to approach others and to make their acquaintance. I continued to dance with David and had a great time.
I realized that not holding back was the best way to fully appreciate the moment. One has to give a little to receive. Finally, to discover and learn to appreciate another culture, one has to put aside one’s own culture, welcome others into one’s sphere, and remain open-minded.
This English translation has been possible thanks to the PerMondo project: Free translation of website and documents for non-profit organisations. A project managed by Mondo Agit. Translator: Alberic Djomaki Proofreader: 'Karen Pawson'