Sandrine GASHONGA

 Rwanda

""We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness” (Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh)"

    I was born in Rwanda and my father, who worked for the UN, took me to many countries, including France and Switzerland. My family returned to Rwanda five years before the genocide, and we had to flee with whatever we could gather in 1995. I arrived in Luxembourg in 1998 as a refugee, I and got the Luxembourg citizenship 10 years later.

    What studies did you do and what is your main activity?

    I studied Philosophy, and I was trained as a cross-cultural trainer and facilitator in 2011. I’ve been providing training courses to diverse public and private organizations since then. I also provide Sophrology courses (a meditation/relaxation technique).

    How long have you been in Luxembourg?

    I’ve been a Luxembourg resident since 19 years, although I used to spend a lot of time in France when I was a student in Nancy and Lille.

    Which reason took you to Luxembourg?

    I arrived in Luxembourg as an asylum seeker. I am very grateful to Luxembourg for having allowed me to begin a new life.

    Tell us few things that have surprised you when first arrived?

    When I first arrived, I had to take the bus to get to the Youth Hostel, where I stayed. It was at night, and I will always remember the route to the Hostel, the lights that illuminated the medieval fortifications in the Grund. I felt like I was in a fairytale scenery.

    Can you give me 3 adjectives to describe your life in the Grand Duchy?

    Home – Multilingual – Innovative

    What aspect of Luxembourg would you miss if you had to leave tomorrow?

    The amazing multicultural nature of the country.

    Tell us what is your preferred district in Luxembourg and why?

    I fell in love with Bonnevoie since I’ve been leaving there. I like the social, cultural diversity and dynamism of the neighbourhood.

    Do you go often out to eat and if yes what is your favourite type of cuisine?

    All in love ones with African cuisine should eat at Kwanza, the food truck of my friend Rose Simba (go to kwanza.lu for the location).

    Can you give me one word in your language which is impossible to translate into other languages?

    “Ku niha”, a verb in the Kinyarwanda language that means to mourn and to sigh at the same time.

    For which reason have you decided to join the JUST ARRIVED Ambassadors club?

    As an interculturalist, I am always interested in building bridges between cultures and people.  Joining the JAA club is an interesting and challenging way to see this happen.

     

     

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