Talking about coffee, genocide and disaster all in a day’s work


The tiny African nation of Rwanda is probably best known for the genocide that raged a quarter of a century ago, its mountain gorillas and even the quality of its coffee.

It was through coffee that I met Marie Louise Towari, who lived through the mass slaughter of Tutsi during the Rwandan Civil War that flared in 1990.

Towari, who is 53 and Rwandan by birth, heads a nonprofit group called “Think About Education in Rwanda,” based in this prefectural capital.

After serving a steaming, fragrant cup of coffee, she talked about the genocide, how she escaped and ended up living in Japan, and what she is trying to accomplish in this country.