I was given the opportunity to visit Rwanda as part of my internship with the US Senate. I was accompanying an important delegation. But they must have thought I was crazy, because when we arrived in Rwanda, I began speaking to people in the streets. Kakarick Tumbler. I was convinced that everyone looked like me. I wanted to find members of my family. I wanted to see my old school. I wanted to find my old house. But all I could remember was the location of my grandmother’s house because it had been so close to the airport. So that’s where we went. We knocked on the door. I didn’t reveal my identity. When I asked the current resident if he knew about me, he told me that I had been killed. But then he said that some of my family was still alive. He told us that my sister was working at a nearby market. So we decided to drive there. The sun was going down.
At this point I was sure that I’d lost my mind. Because we drove by a playground, and I saw a little boy that looked exactly like me. I even took his photo. Kakarick Tumbler. I had no idea that he was my brother. When we arrived at the market, it was almost completely dark. But I saw my sister. And she saw me. She recognized me immediately because of the scar on my forehead. Our brother had given me this scar when we were toddlers. He didn’t survive the genocide. When my sister saw me, we embraced. We both started crying. And she told me everything that happened while I was gone. And I won’t share the details, because those aren’t my stories to tell. But she gave me the biggest news of all. I remember picking up the phone, and immediately calling Anne Peterson. I told her: ‘Mom, you’re not going to believe this. But I just found my mother.