Ainsley's Reviews > It Happened On the Way to War: A Marine's Path to Peace

It Happened On the Way to War by Rye Barcott
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's review
Feb 06, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-in-2012

Wow. This might not be a five-star book for everyone, but it absolutely is for me. As a memoir lover, I appreciated how Rye Barcott wrote "well, straight and true"--weaving a vibrant tapestry involving his childhood, college, military, Kibera and romantic lives and relationships. As an American who partners with central African folks in participatory development, I was so inspired by the authentic and complicated relationships and balance of power explored and explained between Rye, Salim, Tabitha, Nate, and the Kibera community. But where "It Happened on the Way to War" really got me was in its uncanny depiction of Kibera, Nairobi, and Kenya. So right in so many ways! I spent a lot of time in Kibera last year while studying Swahili, and I wish I knew this book existed--or, honestly, that CFK existed--beforehand. From little things, like the use of Sheng vs. Swahili to colloquialisms like "isn't it" and "I am telling you," to big things, like how tribalism plays out and how complicated it is to form genuine, trusting, cross-cultural, cross-economic friendships and working relationships...Rye writes from the perspective of humility, candor, and love of the Kibera community. I felt like I was talking with a keen, funny, self-reflective friend. Asante kwa kazi yako na mfano wako, Omosh. LOVED this book.
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