Yesterday we took a very long day excursion to the land of Joseph Kony. Joseph Kony got his inspiration to start the LRA on this beautiful cliff. People are told that is where evil spirits entered his body to start the atrocities that occurred over the past 20 years. Before we went to this cliff, we met with his brother/uncle Jarred Kony. Jarred Kony spoke to us about IDP camps, and a little on knowing Kony before he was known as he is now. He said Kony was a shy boy, which is he he believes he was possessed by spirits.
We went to visit an old IDP camp, where people still lived... 5 years later. We met with this one man whose profession was digging. He had 13 children and two wives, and no income to support them going to school. He also adopted 7 other children because his sister died in the war. I am obviously not here to judge; however, when you look into the eyes of 13 big malnutrition tummies, you begin to wonder "why". Why have two wives and 13 children? Yes, it is a culture, but just because it is culture does not mean it is humane. Yes, I cannot be the one to say this because I am not from Northern Uganda and I am not in this culture, but someone who is in this culture must see it as destructive. People in this culture do see it as destructive, but they also see people who are still living in camps as hopeless lazy causes that will never change. Maybe this is true for the older generations, but what about the thousands of children who have no choice? Another why that is asked... Some most present destruction is that of the culture, I am not in the culture, I cannot fix the culture, nor would I want to... but why am I here. Why are we here as white people who will never understand the conflict and are we doing good.
I asked this to a speaker today in reference to Invisible Children. The speaker pointed out that we do not understand the depth of the conflict. We all agreed. He then spoke of the good things Invisible Children are doing. I asked him how they could be doing good work without understanding the conflict. He said that they would not exist without this conflict and their organization was based around this specific conflict with expertise that Uganda simply does not have right now. I can tell you one thing... Had Africa remained untouched by colonization and slave trades, it would be far better off than it is now. It is our fault this continent is as destroyed as it is. It may be our responsibility to fix it; however, we can not fix it by influencing it anymore than we have. We need to help the people who are here and have been fix this in the way they seem fit.
That was long and drawn out and vague. I am not sure if it made sense.
Back to Odek (rock of inspiring evil)... It was the most beautiful scene I have ever seen. Which leads to the next question... How could you look out on something so beautiful and be inspired to do such evil? It is pretty daunting.
I hung out in a cramped car for 6 hours with Joseph Kony's uncle/brother... that is pretty absurd and unreal. I am still processing how close we are to it all.