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Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life in Rwanda…
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Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life in Rwanda (original 1999; edition 2000)

by Rosamond Halsey Carr (Author), Ann Howard Halsey (Author)

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1454188,005 (4.09)10
When Rosamond Halsey Carr first arrived in Africa, she didn't realize she would spend the rest of her life there. As a young fashion illustrator living in New York City in the 1940s, she seemed the least likely candidate for such a life of adventure. But marriage to a hunter-explorer took her to what was then the Belgian Congo, and divorce left her determined to stay on, in neighboring Rwanda, as the manager of a flower plantation. In the ensuing half century she witnessed the decline and fall of colonialism, the wars for independence, the loss of her friend Dian Fossey and the relentless clashes of the Hutus and Tutsis. And, finally, 1994's horrific genocide--of which she provides a personal, first-hand account that is unparalleled and underscores her continued devotion to the country by her decision to care for more than one hundred of its orphaned children.Land of a Thousand Hills unfolds against the backdrop of Rwanda's history from the royal Tutsi dynasty to the present, a landscape whose magic is aptly evoked. It is the epic story of a woman alone in an exotic land, struggling to survive untold hardships only to emerge with an extraordinary love for her adopted country and its people.… (more)
Member:crabbytaco
Title:Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life in Rwanda
Authors:Rosamond Halsey Carr (Author)
Other authors:Ann Howard Halsey (Author)
Info:Plume (2000), Edition: Illustrated, 272 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
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Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life in Rwanda by Rosamond Halsey Carr (1999)

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Amazing biography, learned so much about Rwanda and about a strong, brave woman. ( )
  empress49 | Dec 29, 2023 |
In 1949 Rosamund Halsey Carr left New York for what was then the Belgian Congo. Her marriage to a hunter-explorer was not to last but by the time of her divorce, she had fallen in love with the country. To support herself she started a pyrethrum farm (a natural insecticide). Her descriptions of the country and its people are captivating. She met and became good friends with Dian Fossey, who was murdered in the middle of writing a letter to Carr.

Over the years she faced many tragedies and difficulties, however the Rwandan Genocide of 1994 was the most heartbreaking. She had stayed through previous conflicts but this time was given minutes to grab essentials and make her escape. She left the country for some months returning when the risk was reduced. She was 82 years old and determined to return "home" and convert her old farm into an orphanage to take in some of the thousands of children left without parents. When she returned to the devastated country and her destroyed house, the first friends who arrived soon after were her two dogs and cat who were starving and in bad shape. She concluded that the cat had kept the dogs alive by catching small animals for them to eat. Rosamund Halsey Carr died in 2006 and is buried next to the orphanage she founded.

Carr's niece, Ann Howard Halsey, collected information from letters, diaries and notes as well as her own first-hand accounts to create this book. It is a charming account of one of the most courageous women I have come across. ( )
1 vote VivienneR | Nov 16, 2016 |
Very moving...a women with true courage ( )
  tmscott13 | Jan 23, 2016 |
Fascinating look at the life of a plantation owner in Africa. As a new bride transplanted to Africa, Carr had to learn how to run a plantation, how to survive amidst political turmoil, and how to best help the African people she has grown to love. If you enjoyed An Ordinary Man, you might also want to give this one a try. ( )
  Sengels | Nov 28, 2007 |
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Rosamond Halsey Carrprimary authorall editionscalculated
Halsey, Ann Howardmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Wikipedia in English (2)

When Rosamond Halsey Carr first arrived in Africa, she didn't realize she would spend the rest of her life there. As a young fashion illustrator living in New York City in the 1940s, she seemed the least likely candidate for such a life of adventure. But marriage to a hunter-explorer took her to what was then the Belgian Congo, and divorce left her determined to stay on, in neighboring Rwanda, as the manager of a flower plantation. In the ensuing half century she witnessed the decline and fall of colonialism, the wars for independence, the loss of her friend Dian Fossey and the relentless clashes of the Hutus and Tutsis. And, finally, 1994's horrific genocide--of which she provides a personal, first-hand account that is unparalleled and underscores her continued devotion to the country by her decision to care for more than one hundred of its orphaned children.Land of a Thousand Hills unfolds against the backdrop of Rwanda's history from the royal Tutsi dynasty to the present, a landscape whose magic is aptly evoked. It is the epic story of a woman alone in an exotic land, struggling to survive untold hardships only to emerge with an extraordinary love for her adopted country and its people.

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If you enjoyed Out of Africa and West with the Night, here's another amazing woman's story of her adventurous African life. Rosamond Halsey Carr left her job as a young New York City fashion illustrator in the 1940s to join her hunter-explorer husband in the Belgian Congo; after their divorce, she decided to stay on in neighboring Rwanda as the manager of a flower plantation. For the next 50 years she lived an extraordinary life, witnessing the fall of colonialism, the loss of her friend Dian Fossey, and the relentless clashes between the Hutus and the Tutsis. Although this book includes a poignant insider's account of the events surrounding the horrific 1994 genocide, it also provides a beautiful portrait of the Rwanda that was--and still is. After being evacuated during the genocide, Carr returned to Rwanda and, at age 82, rebuilt her home from the ground up, intent on opening a home for some 100 orphaned children.

Carr's humble tenacity and bold strength animate her historical, cultural, and personal accounts. Arriving in Africa in 1949, she witnesses the traditions of the royal Tutsi dynasty, sails up the Congo to camp in pygmy villages, encounters leopards, mingles with European aristocrats, finds and loses love, and lives through Congo independence and civil war. Her passion for the country and its people makes for a life story that is both tragic and hopeful, and full of interesting details that animate the spirit of Rwanda. --Kathryn True
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