The Voice in My Heart is Gilbert Tuhabonye’s story of growing up in Burundi on a peaceful mountain side surrounded by family, discovering the sport of running as a child, and later being the only survivor of an attack on his school where the Hutu’s attacked about 100 Tutsi teachers and students with machetes, before putting all those that were still alive in a building which they doused in gasoline and lit on fire. Gilbert survived, but was badly burned and doctors told him he would not run again. During his recovery Gilbert describes the many emotions he had to deal with, including survivor’s guilt, anger towards Hutu’s, difficulty trusting people, and being constantly afraid that someone was going to poison him or kill him while he was recovering in the hospital.
The book is beautifully written, and the story is divided into 7 chapters:
1. Deliver us from Evil
2. Education is our Children’s Future
3. Acts of Contrition
4. Rise to Glory
5. Initiation and Advancement
6. Recovery and Reflection
7. The Road Back
The author, Gilbert Tuhabonye, made a full recovery to high level running. By 1996, three years after the attack, his running performances took him to the United States as part of an Olympic training program. He obtained a track scholarship to Abilene Christian University and was a national champion runner. He has since become the award-winning coach of the Gilbert's Gazelles Training Group in Texas. In 2006, he co-founded the Gazelle Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve life for people in Burundi without regard to tribal affiliations. Today Gilbert is a US citizen and lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and children.
If you are interested in getting a copy of The Voice in My Heart, it is available on Amazon. At the same time you can support the foundation through the AmazonSmile program by choosing Gazelle Foundation as your charity. To learn more about the foundation, you can see the website https://www.gazellefoundation.org
If you live in or near Austin Texas, and are looking for a club to run with, you can find information about Gilbert's Gazelles at https://www.gilbertsgazelles.com
Big thank you to the publisher, Amistad, for providing a review copy of the book, and to author Gilbert Tuhabonye for the interview. Thanks also to our friend, Jessica, for suggesting the book.
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