Reflections from iDebateUSTour2014

It has been 10 days since our plane landed back home in Rwanda, It has been almost three months since our plane left Rwanda I remember hoping to get a scholarship, hoping to bungee jump, and go mountain climbing and go in a zero gravity room and I remember hoping to impress the people I debate against, I clearly remember not being so ambitious as to hope for a win “these are college Kids Bryan, get real” I told myself. Little did I know that we would not only meet and debate college Kids but that we would also meet Graduate students and PhD students if I knew I was going to debate them beforehand, well then I definitely wouldn’t have applied!

10444553_756652847749334_7201829914492603773_nIn Atlanta, Kassy and Yvan debated against one of the most decorated American debaters and a relatively new Junior Varsity debater, (of course new means 1 year which is about as long as I have debated for) we did impress them, and we can prove that with the Scholarship Kassy was promptly offered, in Pittsburgh Me and Kassy debated a PhD student along with an undergraduate student, to say I was afraid would be a lie, I was petrified (vocab!), but we managed to pull out a win and of course I looked like the most arrogant fourteen year old ever, In South Methodist university and University of North Texas, we debated once  more and were able to win AGAIN the stories could go on and on and I would never get tired but you might so I’ll stop there.

What shocks me, amazes me and constantly excites me is that we are just regular kids from Rwanda, while fairly privileged we all didn’t really stand out before iDebate, but in the space of one year, being trained by one 27 year old man we were able to debate and win against a few of America’s Best Debaters, imagine what might happen if iDebate were to find the trainers they need? Imagine what might happen to that child in Nyamasheke who can’t speak English but loves to speak? Imagine what might happen in this country if debate were to grow, and we all had access to it.

Here’s what happened in our lives, both me and Kassy have nearly decided (I’m the nearly) what we want to study, both of us having the dream to contribute to our society, her as a politician me as a business man or economist, I know that Kassy’s decision became much more pronounced after joining debate and I know that my decision was heavily influenced by watching Maggate Wade talk on you tube, both of us want to make our country better, Teta wants to do community development and agri-business, Yvan wants to be a business man or economist (COMPETITION). See a pattern, we all want to help grow our country and our nation.

In conclusion, I didn’t get to bungee jump and risk my life in various ways, but we are coming back with numerous promises from professors to come and train Rwandese students, and become their Jean Michels, we’ve made some of the best connections with US universities, we’ve won more debates and met more people than we can count. In the end of this tour I hope that there will be creation of more debaters and that Rwanda will be known as the second home of the great debaters.

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