03 July 2008

Meeting My Hero

Last summer I read a book about a woman named Immaculée Ilibagiza, who is a survivor of the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Her story is so amazing. Immaculée spent 3 months with 7 other women hiding in a bathroom which measured 3 feet by 4 feet. During this time, millions of Rwandans were murdered, including every family member, neighbor and friend of Immaculée's. While Immaculée was in hiding, she developed a profound hope in God. She taught her self English by reading a Bible and translating it using an English dictionary--she decided that there was a reason why she was not found, and that she would need to know English to share her story with others some day. Her story is mind-blowing--it is truly a miracle. She is a true example of what faith in God means. After I read her story, I told myself that I would someday meet her.

When I came home from Africa, I read that she would be speaking here in Utah. So, right away, I bought tickets to the gala which she was speaking at--even though the tickets cost $80!

Last night I was so honored to meet her. I was sitting at my table before the event began, and I kept looking to see when she would walk in the door. When I saw her, I instantly became so nervous, I have no clue why. I'm a big nerd, so of course I brought with me my book for her to sign and my camera to get a picture with her. When I approached her, I was literally shaking. Mac went to take the picture and my memory card was full, so he had to hand me the camera to delete some pictures. Mac said that my hands were shaking so bad that she must have noticed. Anyway, here is my treasured picture with her:




When she shared her story, I began crying the instant she stepped to the podium. I was so embarassed, so I used my bangs to shield the other people at our table's view of the tears which I could not control. I love Immaculée Ilibagiza so much.

Here is a video which shares a bit of her story:

7 comments:

Jeff said...

Kelly,

Last year I read a book about a young boy in Seirra Leon who was forced to be a soldier in the countries' civil war. Its called:
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah. When I read it I was equally facinated and horrified by this boy's life. Anyway, thought I would pass this on because I thought you might enjoy it.

Jeff

Mac and Kelly said...

Jeff,

I actually just bought that book last month, and I am waiting until I finish the book I am currently on, Infidel, to start that one. My husband is reading A Long Way Gone right now, and he agrees that his life is unbelievable. Thank you. Let me know if you have any other reccomendations.

April McEvoy said...

Kelly- so glad you got to meet her! I am sure hearing her story first hand was incredible. Hope all is going well with you. We need to get together! Let's do lunch!

MegRich said...

Wow! What an amazing story this woman has. What an honor to meet her!

kemra said...

That's awesome! I want to read that book! It sounds amazing!

Cory & Kristyn said...

so im really into ready right now, what is the name of the book, ive heard the story before. i would love to read it.

Cory & Kristyn said...

ok so i read every thing!!! i watched every thing! some of the pics arent showing up but i think its my computer so ill be back to do this all over again. :) i do not know how you ever left, it must have been so hard. i would have wanted (tried) to pack up everyone with me.

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