My name is Mukandahiro Penina. I used to live in Mutala, east Rwanda, until the killings. I was sixteen then. I lived on a farm with my family. When the killings started, we left our home, our life, and ran into the forests to hide. There were many of us, but the forest could not protect us all against the machetes and the hands of the men who used them. Only my mother and I came out of the forest alive.
I made my way to Kigali where I met my husband, Ngororo. But he died, and I am thirty-four now, living with AIDS, and five children.
I smile, but if you look closer, behind my smile are memories of a war, my brother and sister, of people I will never see again. And still I dream. Of sending my children to school. Of making a new life with my children.