35 pages 1 hour read

Tracy Kidder

Strength in What Remains

Nonfiction | Biography | Adult | Published in 2000

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Chapters 9-11Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 1: "Flights"-Part 2: "Gusimbura"

Chapter 9 Summary: “Burundi – Rwanda – Burundi, 1993-94”

In 1993, Deo has completed year three of medical school and is conducting an internship in Mutaho—a town in northern Burundi. One day, Deo is surprised when a man comes to take away his sick brother. When Deo confronts the man about this odd decision, they tell him he should leave; he refuses, and they tell him he is going to die.

Not long after this encounter, pandemonium overtakes the hotel. Deo hides, and no one finds him when armed men storm the building. Later, Deo realizes that news spread of armed bands and nearly everyone, Hutu and Tutsi, fled the hospital. The attackers must have been a militia.

Deo escapes into the fields and forest and heads toward a small church in a nearby town. He travels for hours and finds some houses, but there are dead and mutilated bodies inside. He also passes his cousin Genevieve’s school, which is burning. His new plan is to head back to Bujumbura, but close encounters with militiamen force him toward the border Rwandan border.

There are groups of refugees, mainly Hutu, also making their way north toward Rwanda. A Hutu woman who pretending to be his mother helps Deo, and together they make it past the pro-Hutu Rwandan border guards.