It is rare that one will wake up with a plan to leave home for good. It is rare that home should be the place one runs away from. It is rare that the promised home will be a place far away that all you will need is a journey of faith. Yet as much as it is rare, it is real. It happens just as it happened to the people of Kivu region in DR. Congo.
War comes with a lot to deal with. The biggest setback is that survivors may live to tell the tale but they may never live to be fully healed. That is what war does to you. It undresses you of dignity and clothes one in shame, brokenness, guilt and hopelessness. There is no better way of telling a war story because it’s not there. You would be tempted that emerging alive would be the ultimate but alas! It is not.
In the Diamond Skies of Home, you find the meaning of the second living. It hits you that the road of life never ends. That things change—some permanently, others temporarily. It grips you that loved ones can lose each other but never give up on re-uniting again. It breaks you that orphaned children will have to live with the vague images of their parents in their heads for the rest of their lives. And it shreds you to pieces to know that in all this you are not able, at all, to reverse the slippery hands of time.
In their broken voices, you cannot fail but appreciate the few things in life we always take for granted. These stories stop you in your tracks to teach you the lesson of being thankful. Thankful for the ones you love. Thankful for life. And thankful that you can still dream and realise your dreams too.
Diamond Skies of Home reminds us to be empathetic. To show up for others but most importantly for ourselves. Fabius, Rizi or Kamba are just like you and I. They are living testimonies of what Ubuntu does. When we must stop to give up, we should be reminded Ruzigura didn’t give up at a time he was supposed to neither did Nyarukundo Grace.
When you are on the other side of the coin, like you and I, you get news through mainstream media. The news always sounds and seems to be so distant. It is about some people somewhere in a faraway place. It never occurs to you that the person you just crossed paths with could be one of the victims of the news story. The war in Congo rages on. There has not been a long lasting solution to the intertribal conflicts in the Kivu region where most of the refugees at Kyaka Camp come from. War is as real as its repercussions and it should be stopped.
Everyone deserves to be at home. With war, home is a mystery. Diamond Skies of Home reminds and teaches us to appreciate the idea of home. Home—the dwelling place. The stories of Kyaka leave you with no option but to appreciate your humble dwelling place.
AUTHOR: Various Writers
TITLE: Diamond Skies of Home
GENRE: Short Story Collection
PUBLISHER: Quiet Garden Publishing