Enlightening ‘Way to War’ discussed
Thomaston — The Thomaston Intergenerational Book Club will discuss “It Happened on the Way to War” by Rye Barcott Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 2:30 p.m. in the gym of the Thomaston Academy building, 60 Main St./Route 1.
In 2000, Barcott spent part of the summer living in 10-by-10-foot shacks in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya. He was a 20-year-old college student heading into the Marines and he sought to better understand ethnic violence — something he would likely face in uniform. Barcott learned Swahili and listened to young people talk about how they survived amidst poverty he had never imagined existed. He stumbled into friendship with a widowed nurse, Tabitha Atieno Festo, and a tough community organizer, Salim Mohamed.
“It Happened on the Way to War” is the gripping story of this unlikely trio’s journey to build a nongovernmental organization in a volatile place and help develop a new generation of leaders from within. Their organization, Carolina For Kibera, is now a pioneer of the movement called participatory development, drawing recognition from Time magazine as a “Hero of Global Health” and interest from Melinda Gates, President Barack Obama and other dignitaries, who have visited to see its best practices.
Barcott continued his leadership in CFK while serving as a Marine in Iraq, Bosnia and the Horn of Africa. Engaged in two forms of public service at once, he fought in wars while waging peace. Grappling with the intense stress of leading Marines in dangerous places, he took the tools he learned building community in one of the most fractured parts of Kenya and became a more effective counterinsurgent. His book offers a true story of sacrifice and courage, failure and triumph; and the powerful melding of military and humanitarian service. It is a story of what America’s role in the world could be.
On the third Tuesday of each month, this book group of men and women of all ages comes together to share their opinions and ideas about the book selection. Extra copies of the books are purchased by the Friends of the Thomaston Public Library from the Annual Appeal funds; donations are welcome. The gym is accessible by elevator from the rear of the building. This event is free and open to all.
Courier Publications' A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or firstname.lastname@example.org.