Robyn White - Arrival in Kigali

Running time
1 min 54 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


We were put into chalks, and I was in a chalk with a couple of other nursing officer colleagues. And we left from Townsville. We're in a C-5 Galaxy, so it was a massive plane. And so we took off from Townsville, and I remember being excited, but sort of anxious about, nervous about what I was going to be encountering when I got to Rwanda. But the flight was fine.

We went via a place called Diego Garcia in the middle of the Indian ocean. So that was just a stopover, a fuel stop and a dinner stop. But that was quite remarkable to go via that place. And I've since been back there on another trip home from another overseas trip with the military. And then arriving in Kigali. My recollection is we arrived quite late at night. We had to stay at the airport because there was a curfew on.

The airport, every window had been broken. There was a glass container that had Digit, Diane Fossey's famous gorilla in it. That was all blown up. So yes, we had to stay the night at the airport. I remember there was really loud music playing. I think the American troops were securing the airport. Loud music was playing all night while we were trying to sleep, just awaiting the next day basically.

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