Amazing interesting people are one reason we do this honestly not so easy trip. In school, in preparation for Africa that begins in a week (We will be very sad to leave Asia), we asked the English teacher to give reading selections on topics relevant to Africa. Since we are going to spend some time in Uganda, one book she offered as a choice was a book about kids stolen by Joseph Kony, the head of the LRA, the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army, who kidnapped and brainwashed 13 and 14 year old boys into his rebel army. Heavy stuff. Both boys chose that book and have been writing short vignettes about hope and hopelessness.
Well as luck would have it, on Wednesday this week we were at the house of our Bangkok friend Erik, a doctor with whom I went to Penn. Other guests at a big circus dinner of kids and adults, were the Irish Ambassador to Thailand who was the first and current Irish Ambassador. Opened the office here, and was previously Irish Ambassador to Uganda during the peak of James Kony’s madness. His Ugandan wife Kevin, she a very tall, dark and typically outgoing Ugandan, as it turns out was living in Kampala during the Kony years. The madman having since disappeared into the Congo (DRC), or Central African Republic (CAR), which today are rebel leader breeding grounds, or hiding grounds, as the case may be. Kony remains on every international criminal most hunted list.
In any case, Kevin is one of the only people to have ever met and interviewed Joseph Kony. What are the chances Nicky and Alex would have just read a book of an account of boys that had been captured into the LRA, their despair and their escape back into a society that wouldn’t accept them?
She has offered next week to allow our two dudes to interview her and film it, with an eye to growing up in Uganda during this madness. (Ok, So we couldn’t get the outlaw rebel leader, but close… one removed!)
As we begin our turn home to the last one-third of an amazing journey, few “assignments” for school on the entire trip are brimming with excitement and possibility as is this. The boys have been preparing interview questions, charging multiple cameras etc. for this crazy cool opportunity. We remain optimistic it happens as planned.
News to follow. From The River Kwai, Kanchanaburi, Thailand