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Respecting their Lifestyle

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Respecting their Lifestyle

Yes it was difficult but how you dealt with the difficulty I know I used humour to deal with the difficulty. I guess your self-mechanism of preservation or helping yourself to cope with the area. The poverty, especially Rwanda, was very hard to see. I know I went I think it was Lieutenant commander Harwood, he was an MO, went for a walk and saw the villages up in the hills and people living in huts made out of mud and straws and seeing the female part of that tribe. Their job was basically going down and walk five kilometres down the hill, put water in these buckets, put it on top of their head and walk all the way up the hill while the male portion, the younger male portion would take care of the herd. The elder males would just sit there and smoke their pot all day, that’s the mentality of these little villages. One thing the doc said, he said, “Denis, don’t bother explaining to them where you come from or where on earth you are from because these guys only see as far, their world exists as far as their eyes can see because some of these villagers haven’t been more than two, three kilometres from where they were born. You explain beyond that, they can’t do it!” Me being all over the place I had a hard time to conceive that part. Again, the value of life of their system. If you weren’t a part of that particular tribe or family tree, their cattle was worth more than you were.

While in Rwanda, Mr. Allaire is advised of the life style of the villagers and how they exist within their own culture.

Denis Allaire

Mr. Denis Allaire was born December 25, 1962 in Timmons, Ontario. As a young man, Mr. Allaire recalls his decision to join the military as a selfish opportunity for financial and security reasons and enlisted on a bet. He trained as a medic receiving trades training in Cornwallis, Ontario, OJT in Trenton, Ontario and then six month training at Borden, Ontario Medical School. Joining the 5 Field Ambulance Division as an army medic, Mr. Allaire deployed overseas, his first deployment being in 1993 to Croatia, then Rwanda followed by two tours to Bosnia. After 24 years of military service, he discharged from the military. Mr. Allaire retires having a great sense of pride for his contribution and is thankful that he made that decision in life to join the Canadian Forces.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
March 9, 2010
Person Interviewed:
Denis Allaire
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces

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