As the genocide unfolded, Tutsis and moderate Hutus looked for sanctuary in semi-public places like schools and churches. Many, came to the Gisimba Orphanage.
"There [were] so many people coming to the orphanage to hide, looking for safety," recalls Alphonse Kalisa. "Three or four hundred people. Damas had heard that the militia was going to attack the orphanage because of all the people coming in."
Photo by Stephen Smith
One of those who hid in the orphanage was Pie Mugabo.
"My family and I lived next door to Gisimba, so we came here. Gisimba told me that because I was such a well-known opponent of the government, I would be especially wanted," says Mugabo. "He said it would be best for me and my family to hide in orphanage infirmary. There were six of us. During the day, the four women hid in this closet and we two men in this toilet room. I had to crouch a bit not to be seen through the window. Imagine - we stayed in this place for three months.
"I knew I was taking a huge risk hiding them, explains Gisimba. "If Mugabo and his family were caught here, the militia would have killed us all, but I had been talking to my children for so long about the need for unity between Hutus and Tutsis. I couldn't change my mission now."
On April 9 and 10, the remaining American citizens, with the exception of Carl Wilkens, drove out of Rwanda to neighboring Burundi. U.S. Diplomat Laura Lane describes the struggle to get every American citizen out alive.
"I was the political security officer at the American Embassy in Kigali, Rwanda, and I remember calling all the Americans and saying here's your evacuation point - here's where you need to go, and I remember making the call to Carl and he said, 'Laura, there's people here, they're depending on me. I can't go.'"
Carl says, "You know, right there in front of me was our house girl who's a Tutsi. Worked for us for several years. I knew as soon as we left she would be slaughtered. There was a young man who was our night watchman. A Tutsi. He'd be slaughtered. And there was no way convoys were letting anyone take Rwandans with them. And at the time my family was evacuating, we lived on a dirt road, and I watched my family drive away down the road. I walked back up to the gate. Closed it and locked it, but as I went back up there and knelt down on the floor with our house-girl and night watchman, and we prayed for the safety of my family, it was a pretty empty feeling."