After spending six months in a rural part of Northern Uganda then traveling down across the equator and around Lake Victoria, I learned a bit about life. Namely the similarities of our human experience and the differences in our lived realities. This helped me understand the nuance in concepts like poverty, peace, justice and forgiveness. Something like forgiveness in one part of the world may seem black and white, but elsewhere it can take on a million hues.
The Acholi people of Norther Uganda, a tribe of about 15,000, had been the victims of a 30-year war. This war ended just a few month before my first trip to the area, in 2009. Assimilation of both those who had waged war and war victims and had just begun. Former fighters from both sides of the gruesome and drawn-out war had to come together and live as neighbors to survive.
One thousand miles south and 15 years earlier, a similar story unfolded in Kigali, Rwanda. In 2012 I spent some time in there. I walked the impeccably well managed and clean city streets, seeking out English speakers and listening to stories of people who survived the genocide.