Sunday, 21 January 2018

One Thousand Hills Book GINS Book Review: Blog Post 6

One Thousand Hills by  James Roy and Noel Zihabamwe. Was it any good? Worth a read? Well, let’s talk about it. I have a lot to talk about when it comes to this book. First, let's start with is it interesting and fun to read. I think overall this was actually a very interesting read and an exciting book too. To be honest I did not think they would be able to a book with a subject as sensitive as this entertaining but they did achieve that well. There was only one problem I had regarding this issue and that is how long it took to get to this point in the book. If you are reading this book there is a high chance you know that it's about a genocide so for the first 70% you are just wondering when will it happen. This book was actually more about how it began and what the life a Tutsi person was leading up to this event. They could have just made it more 50/50 because I think there is a lot more to talk about how it really ended and how he survived.

 Now, of course, I was reading this book for my GINS novel study not just for fun. So was this book fitting for the project. Yes. This book is great because it has many different issues and global issues to talk about. When writing my blog posts I usually I had to try to limit myself to how much I write because I had a lot to say and it just really fits this project nicely. I think this book is actually a good book to read whether you are doing this project or not. I think something that I noticed about this book is that of course, this is a sensitive issue so some things may be hard to talk about. They use the context to make it realistic but not offensive or disturbing and that is really cool and special. I would say this is a good book to read for people who do not get bored fast and have some free time.



Tuesday, 9 January 2018

A Room For Pascal: Last 20% of The Book

1. Mosquito Net
Pascal sleeps under a mosquito net every night and every night his parents would say goodnight they would tuck in his mosquito net. “He was under the protection of his net. Nothing protected like a sheet.”(p67) Every night he slept in Rwanda after his mom kissed him goodnight he would always feel safe under his net. I think having this there would just make him feel safe when he went to bed and help him sleep after all he has been through in his life.
2. Wooden Bird Carving
He would want one item to remind him of each of his family members that he had lost. The BIrd carvings were what his dad loved to make in his free time and was actually paid to make.“Birds were his favourite to carve. He made gorillas and chimps too”.(p19)
3. Bible
They were very religious people and went to church every Sunday of their life. They took it very seriously and Pascal wanted to be a priest. Almost every chapter of the book there is mention of religion whether it is going to church being a priest just god or making a confession.  “So shoes on, they were ready to go. Papa with his bible, mama with her purse” (p38)
4. Hershey's and M&Ms
One day his Mama got Pascal and Henri to buy M&Ms which cost a lot and they ate them all before they even got home. He didn’t want to tell his mom so he “His heart racing. Those sweet, velvety M&Ms had turned into a heavy rock in the pit of his stomach.”(p110)
5. Bucket of Water
Pascals brother Jean-Baptiste was someone that he in a way hated but still loved and accepted him as his brother. In the mornings he would always complain about his brother dumping water on his face and how annoying and terrible it was so this is something he has in his room to remind him of his brother.  “Six mornings a week it was this way. Pascal, waking up to something unpleasant. Sometimes cold water bucket dumped on his face.”(p8)
6. Stuffed Goat
Every morning and afternoon Pascal had to do chores and one of them was to deal with the goat. His name was Iggy and meant a lot to Pascal. Near the end of the book he was killed by the Hutu people and on top of his sister. “The puddle beside Nadine's knee was such a red, even in the weak light from the lantern in the corner. Red and growing slowly, fed by the trickle that lead from the goat, Iggy.”(p174)
7. Tractor Carving
Pascal and his best friend Henri both had a small toy tractor that they had made out of wood. When ever they went to reach others houses they worked on it always trying to make it more realistic and better than each others. This is what he will have to remember Henri as his best friend in Rwanda.
8. Picture of Cockroaches
Cockroaches were i very important symbol in this book. They always mentioned them to talk about the Tutsi people without them knowing. This was always giving hints about what was going to happen in the book and was often misused by children and that helped them understand the problems that were going to come.
9. Nadine’s Doll
Pascals other sibling was his sister Nadine. She was also very annoying to him and also completely spoiled. He still loved her though because they were family and she was only 5 years old. Nadine always had a doll to sleep with and she couldn't sleep without it. His name was Macaron and that's what he has to remember her.“I tuck Macaron in first then you tuck me in.”(p155) Nadine would always tuck in her before she went to bed and this will help him be able help him sleep at night and maybe remember his sister a little bit more.

Nadine's Perspective Of One Thousand Hills: Second Last 20%

           I wake up the same way I do every day 7 days a week, shortly after, I then realized that today is not a normal day, not a normal day at all. Today is my fifth birthday! I have been waiting for this day to come for longer than I can remember and today it is here. I jump out of bed being careful not to wake my 2 brothers, Pascal and Jean-Baptiste, then I remember why should I care they are jerks to me and it is my birthday, my day, Nadine’s day. I walk into the dining room to get some breakfast and my mom already has it ready on the table. We have actually real cow milk and eggs! My mom walks over and wishing me a happy birthday and giving me a big hug lifting me an inch or two off my feet. I sit down and start to eat when Jean-Baptiste walks in. It's my birthday I say to him. “How could I forget it's all you have been talking about for weeks”. Don’t you have anything to say? “Shut up” is his only reply. I am really sad that he doesn’t care but also not surprised. Mama says stop treating your sister so mean and wish her a happy birthday. “No” he says. Mama saying why do I even bother trying. I finish my meal quickly and then go get my good clothes for the school day. I really want this school day to be over ASAP so that I can get home to my birthday party. I am getting some treats that we never get like Coca-Cola and candy. I am also having my 3 favorite friends over.

           On my walk to school, all I think about is who will remember it is my birthday and who will not. Not many people will not because I am such a popular person. I ended having a pretty normal day at school today except for the birthday wishes and I end up breaking into a run on my way home. I get home and start getting ready for my party. As I am cleaning up my house I ask my mom what exactly we will be eating tonight. She says Coca-Cola, M&Ms Hershey Kisses, and Pringles. “Oh and one more surprise but you will have to wait to find out what that is”. Now I can barely contain my excitement as the time my friends should arrive draws closer. My brother Pascal is home and Mama immediately sends him to the store to buy the stuff for tonight. I wait for him to finally come back and he is acting a bit funny especially when Mama asks him why there is not chocolate and sends him back. Whatever. Next J-B gets home and disappears somewhere probably to play soccer with his friends.

            All of my friends arrive around the same time and we play for a while. Once they go home me and my family ate all of the food and it turns out that the surprise was a homemade cake from my Mama. It was poorly decorated but it was amazing to me. After that, I went to bed and my Mama and Papa both came in and tucked me in with my doll Macaron, I can't sleep without him.
Today I wake up and repeat the same morning as usual and it seems like everything that happened just yesterday had not happened but then again why would it matter today. I got to school and the big gate was closed there was a big black lock with numbers on it. Lots of other kids were just standing there and I could see Pascal and J-B there too. I waited a bit hoping the gates would open but eventually both of my brothers had left and so I got bored and walked back home. Mama was asking lots of questions because this has never happened before and was very strange. I ended up helping my Mama with her chores, playing with my toys, then going to bed.
 
            Today I wake up and it is getting even weirder. My brothers were already up and she had slept in according the light coming in through the window. She got up and found her family in the living room. She asked what was going on and they said there was no school today and that meant we had lots of work to do. They were listening to the radio and I sat down and listened for a while. “Rwanda is suffering from a cockroach plague and they are going to come to an end very very soon” He talked about these bugs as if they were evil creatures and were a big problem even though I have never thought of them that bad. Papa shut it off and then said don’t listen to the radio and he looked a bit stressed and disturbed. I think there was more to this that I didn't understand but there was no point in asking. They wouldn't tell me anything because it's too “grown up”. We did work all day and I was very happy to lay in bed and night. My Mama was just tucking me in when there was a knock on the door. She said that Papa would be there to tuck her in in one minute. Pascal and J-B were at the door listing to what was happening. I was asking lots of questions but eventually, they told me to shut up and I did after a while. After a while, they went to bed and Papa came in and said something to the two boys and they went to bed. He came to her lifted her mosquito net and told her goodnight my princess and gave me a kiss. Good night I said and drifted off until sleep came.

           Today was really weird as soon as I woke up Mama was in our room talking to my brothers about something. I said good morning guys. Mana said “good morning Nadine” and come over as J-B said good morning brat. Mama told me not to leave the house today and that it was very important. I was at first confuses but eventually came to the conclusion in my mind that this was not a good thing and that made me scared. I just played with my dolls until after lunch when Mama was asking Pascal where J-B was. Pascal had said Kami’s house, his best friends about 20 mins away. Mama after arguing with Pascal let him go get him but he has to come right back no store no Henri’s house.

         There were trucks outside suddenly and Mana came to Nadine in her room and took her to the kitchen and told her to hide under the table and not to come out until she said so. Mama and Papa went outside and soon after people came bursting into the house looking for any “cockroaches”. I told them that there were none here and they just laughed right as Iggy out goat was making noise right outside the door. The men went outside and met the goat. They chased it back inside and he came under the table with her and started bleeding all over the place. I started to feel tears welling up in my chest when the men came back and said: “that will shut it up”. I asked them if Iggy was sick and they said yes but not for long as they left. I just laid there until shortly after Pascal had come home. A huge sense of relief rushed through me when I saw his face. He looks horrified at the scene. I said is Iggy sick? “He's more than sick Nadine”. Is he going to get better? “No, he's not, he's dead.” I felt more tears coming as I noticed the pool of blood on the ground near my knee but I held them back. I got up and Pascal said he could not find Mama or Papa and that Jean Baptiste did not come back with him. They went out into the backyard and hid in his secret hideout with him and it began to rain.

         I must have fallen asleep because I woke up in Pascal's arms cold, hungry, and thirsty. I ask Pascal where is Mama and Papa and he says I wish I knew. But they will back soon. We went outside and Pascal told me to wait in the house while he went outside to look around. He came back and said “you have to promise me something” I promise. You will hold onto my shirt and not look up or around at anything. That gave me a weird feeling that something was outside he did not want me to see. Why I say. “Just promise you won’t I am not going to explain why”. Ok, I won’t. We walked for about 30 minutes when I asked where are we going. “To Mama and Papa and brother” Where is that Pascal? “At the church, can’t you hear the bell ringing”. Now that you mention it yes I can actually. Then I had forgotten and I looked up and all I was was dead people. Laying on the street everywhere… We got to the hill right below the church and I accidentally dropped my favorite doll that I cannot live without down the hill. Pascal sat me down and told me to stay there and not move and he will be right back. I watched him walk until he was out of sight then got up and went looking for my doll. Right as I found it a group of men with really long knives came up to me and said goodbye filthy cockroach. My last thought was that we were the cockroaches all this time and now we were gone, the cockroach plague in Rwanda has ended… The End

Nadine Actually had lived from the blow and made it out of Rwanda alive with Pascal

Tensions Rising: Third 20%, Rights and Freedoms

How often do you think about your rights or complain about them? Well try think about what others rights and freedoms around the world are. Hello, Today we are here talking about the third 20% of the book One Thousand Hills. This time we are going to explore the concept of rights and freedoms and how it connects to this book. This book is very easy to talk about regarding this subject because there is just so many violations we can talk about. This 20% of the book is where things actually start to get interesting and we get even more hints and clues that are slowly building up to the climax.

   The First thing I want to talk about is equality rights. In this book there, is 2 main kinds of people the Hutu people and the Tutsi. On the radio, the Hutu are always talking about how the day with come to get rid of the filthy cockroaches and then goes on about how bad these things are and they are actually talking about the Tutsi people. Especially on the bus ride when they are actually discriminating against them in person and they have to leave the bus just because of that. “Don’t worry he won’t be doing that for much longer”(p128). “The way he was talking, These cockroaches were the most terrifying and evil thing anyone had ever met.” (p127). After one man asked to turn down the radio he was kicked off the bus. So as you can see they are threatening the Tutsi people and talking trash about them.

The second thing I wanted to talk about is Legal Rights or freedom of safety. Like what happened on this bus ride the Tutsi people did not feel safe so they had to leave the bus. Many of them are actually starting to leave the area just because of the threats from the Hutu people. “Are you leaving? Another sigh. Yes, pascal. My wife and I are leaving”(p165). They go on the say that they do not feel safe. Later again on the radio, they talk about killing the Tutsi people and how it's happening in another nearby town. I think that this is violating this right.

   Lastly, I just want to talk about racism in general. I think that this is a violation of this right. All of these things about the Tutsi people being so bad because they are always in charge and there is so many of them and that they have bad intentions. So they are always making jokes about cockroaches or the Tutsi and they won’t be there for much longer and that the day will come that they die.

   So I think that this place, Rwanda, does have rights to an extent or more of just expectation in this case because they are not really enforced. If there is this stuff going on on the radio in Canada or like what happened on the bus people would be outraged and there would be consequences. In this country, there are not people to look out for this and punishment.
So that is my thoughts on rights and freedoms connecting to this third 20% of the book and really think about this has actually made me think more about this kind of issue in our current day and age. Maybe you should too?

Monday, 8 January 2018

Getting Interesting, Second 20% Blog Post 2

We are now 40% through the book and have lots more to talk about. There have been many surprises to me but one thing that really stood out is the cockroach analogy. “And now there are more than ever, Rwanda is suffering from a cockroach plague. A plague I tell you!” (p23). 2 things specifically about it were meaningful to me. One that it was actually talking about people. I had i good feeling it was talking about something and not actually cockroaches but I don't think it would be that direct. The second thing is that people like Pascal and Jean-Baptiste were completely clueless about it and that they were talking about the Tutsi people. They are just making jokes about each other not knowing the meaning and it made me cringe because they didn't understand what they were saying. Why has no one addressed the issue to them. Here in our day and age when there is a big issue EVERYONE knows about it and everyone talks about it. Why is his family not doing something about it? I feel that we will find that out soon though and in a good way.


I think that because the conflict has not occured yet in this book it is actually getting a little bit too boring. There have not really been any of those big moments that are very meaningful and impactful. I am actually starting to get a little bored because not a lot is happening but in a way that makes me want to keep reading because I want to see what does happen. So that is what I have to say about this 20% of the book. It is getting interesting and there are lots of little hints to foreshadow what will happen next so I think that the next 20% will get even more exciting!

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

One Thousand Hills: Setting, First 20% - Blog Post 1

“It feels as though dark times are just around the corner. Hatred is Growing. Brother against brother. Neighbour against neighbor” (51).


I have completed reading the first 20% of the book and now I have a pretty good understanding of where this book takes place. One Thousand Hills takes place in Rwanda which is a small country in Africa or more specifically Agabande (p44) the town they live in. The first clue about the setting is right in the title. The title tells us that Rwanda is a place with a lot of hills. There are not any paved roads so I and there haven't been any mention of a vehicle either. I would have to guess this would be during the 1980-1990s because they do have a radio but no one has mentioned a phone or computer so it couldn't be in the 2000’s. Also, they do have the same kind of language we use and the people go to church and religion is a really important thing to them.


From what I have read so far I am guessing Pascal lives in a smaller town(p11). One thing that makes me think this in the things they mention, like he goes to school, to church, there is a few stores, and that there are lots of other people who live near him (p11). The town he lives in is not very developed compared to a place in Canada where we live. They have to buy a water tank and roll it up a hill meaning they do not have anything to pull it and they do not have running water. Another thing mentioned it that there are very few families who do have a water tank. Most people have to walk a long distance and carry water back to their house. They also say that the bathroom is outside so and they always are all in one room of the house so I am assuming it is a smaller sized house.

Just in the last few pages of the first 20%, there has been some kind of problem starting in Rwanda on the radio. Pascal does not really understand this problem yet and it has also started to come up with things like church on Sundays. They talk about how there is a huge cockroach plague begging and that they have to be eliminated in order for Rwanda to be a good place(p22). I think this is a metaphor for people. There are 2 kinds of people in Rwanda, the Tutsi, and the Hutu(p13). I think that the Tutsi people are those cockroaches and that they are what needed to be eliminated.I think we will find out what happens very soon though because the tension has just been building up and up and it must lead to something...

Thursday, 7 December 2017

One Thousand Hills





Why I Chose This Book
When we got a little presentation about the book and I heard it was about genocide I was instantly interested because that is an issue that I have always found interesting. I never really looked into this issue so this might be an opportunity to learn more about it. This book also just had a cool subject of a kid living in not the greatest conditions.
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