I am from Rwanda, a beautiful country in the East African region. According to Trump’s statement, my country would be considered a “shithole” too!

Rwandan Flag

Honestly, I was very offended. I wondered how do we have such president in the oval office. Out of 330 million Americans, how did we end up with this stupid-crazy and racist dude?

A friend of mine was flying from Rwanda to the United States today. We talked about our feelings and was telling him how I was very angry and hurt. Then, he said: U know, the best way to fight racism, arrogance, and ignorance is, by love, compassion, and kindness. It is Martin Luther King weekend, remember!

I continued to think about it, and finally, I made a conscious decision. If I get offended by every one of Trump’s racist statements, I will always be disappointed.

So, I decided that it was in my best interests to stay HIGH every time he goes LOW. In the end, I laughed it off and moved on.

How is Rwanda exactly today! We are NOT a shithole.

My country is beautiful. People are very friendly and nice. We are peaceful, developing, hard-working and looking forward to a better future. If that’s what President Trump calls “shithole”, fuck it, I will take that any day.

Allow me to introduce you to Rwanda. Believe it or not, we have so much to offer to the world.

The beauty of Rwandan cities on one.
  1. Best coffee and Tea in the world

If you drink coffee every morning, you probably drink some of ours more often than you think. Every year, Rwandan coffee wins some of the best international awards for best quality coffee. So, we supply you with the best coffee.

Rwandan coffee, the best in the world.

2. Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda.

Our capital city, Kigali, is one of the cleanest and the most organized cities in the world. In 2017, The United Nations nominated Kigali as the most beautiful city in Africa.

One of the popular roundabouts in Kigali Rwanda
Downtown Kigali, Rwanda

3. Environmental Sustainability

We are very green and friendly to the environment. Our country was the first nation in the world to ban plastic bags. Yes, since 2008, plastic bags are illegal in Rwanda. We like to maintain the greenness of our beautiful landscape.

Public Park in Kigali, Rwanda

When you come to visit us, at your arrival to the airport, we replace your plastic bags with bio-degradable reusable paper bags. It is amazing! Check out this British journalist story at the Rwandan Airport ( Credit: The Guardian UK).

British journalist experience with plastic bags

4. Most welcoming nation in the world.

Regardless of your nationality, you do not need prior visa application to come to our country. If you want to come to Rwanda tomorrow, pack your bags and come.

Rwandan Immigration and Emigration Services Poster of 2018, inviting everybody to come to Rwanda

We will issue it to you at your arrival with no hustle; 90-day visa at all Rwandan borders and airports if you are African; and 30–60 days if you are from other continents. It costs $ 30 dollars and takes only 3–5 minutes.

In times where many countries are closing and tightening up their borders, we are opening ours to the world, and leading the way and showing the world how it should be done.

5. Best vacation spot in the world and definitely best Safari Experience

In this 2018 year alone, Rwanda was ranked number 11 out of 18 best places to visit in 2018 by various international tourism agencies ( Vogue, New York Times, The Telegraph, CNN Travel, Huffington Post).

If you want to visit the rare Mountain gorilla in their natural habitat, we have all you will ever need for an amazing experience. Check out my cousin’s photos the last time we were there.

My cousin photo with mother gorilla and her twin babies in the back

Rwanda has 50% of all the mountain gorillas in the world. They are endangered species, so we do a great job at preserving these treasures. You will have the best experience touring and visiting the amazing creatures.

My Photo posing in front of a 500 lb silverback gorilla

We have many well-known national and international parks for all sorts of animals. Akagera National Park, and Nyungwe National Park, being the most popular.

Zebras at the Akagera National Park
Akagera National Park

Whatever you need to relax, we probably have it. Whether you want to do some water sports related activities, chill by the lake shores, sipping on the beer and good food on a beautiful sunny day, we will satisfy your vacation needs for sure.

Canopy Walk 300 ft at the top of the largest tropical forest in Africa. Nyungwe National Park
Brochette, potatoes and beer. My favorite combination at the bars!
Amazing landscape and scenery at Lake Burera overseeing the Volcanoes in the Northern Province

6. Gender Equality and Respect for women

The key reason for Rwandan success ( after 1994 genocide) is attributed to promoting gender equality. Giving men and women equal opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge. Women have not only embraced the opportunities, they have taken it to another level in all sectors of the economy in both private and public sector.

Like many countries around the world, we used to be a very patriarchal society before 1994. But the government decided to change that in order to integrate everybody into the new Rwandan economy. The population is 50% men, 50% women, so it made perfect sense to include women at all levels of decision making both in government and business.

Women are very respected in my country. They deserve respect and appreciation for what they have done for our country. Today, Rwanda is the first nation in the world have to have a higher representation of women in the parliament; 64%!

Oh, one last thing! Unlike President Trump, Rwandan men don’t go around harassing women and grabbing their genitals! Who does that?

The list can go on and on. I have used my country, Rwanda, as an example, but every single nation of Africa has so much to offer to the world.

Now, put yourself in my shoes and imagine what is it like to be told that your country is a “shithole” by the president of another country; the so-called leader of the free world. Meanwhile, you get to enjoy this luxury every day, week, month, and all year long. Hey, I will take it!

I can only hope people have learned their lesson and won’t vote for him in 2020.

Anyway, for more about my home country of Rwanda, I have written two posts in the past describing more about more interesting facts and details. Check them out below!

10 Amazing facts about Rwanda and reasons to visit in 2018 ( Medium Post)

Dear World, Rwanda Today is NOTHING like the movie Hotel-Rwanda ( Quora Post)

Thank you so much for reading my reflection on the President’s dubious remarks about African countries. When haters go LOW, you have to go HIGH, killing them with love, kindness, and compassion.

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Peace!

Didier Champion

Bonus Pictures:

Aerial Photo of the most expensive building in Africa! The Kigali Convention Center
All women flight crew, Captain and her co-pilot of the RwandAir, the national air carrier and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Very rare to see elsewhere, but not in Rwanda.
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