Day 2 is where things start to get a little dicey in regards to what I can say and what I can’t due to the private nature of a number of the meetings I was involved in. But I will give you all of the public highlights:
The day started off by attending the African Delegation Breakfast. I got invited to this breakfast due to the coverage I have been giving to the Anti-Gay legislation in Uganda(my colleague in this coverage, Warren Thockmorton, was also invited). At our table were Bob Hunter and a few of his colleagues, as well as some diplomats from Uganda. Our table discussion was light, friendly, and quite energetic—although each of us at the table knew the private meetings that were to commence later that afternoon. It felt like a bunch of polite smiles trying to cover up the extreme awkwardness that everyone knew was surrounding ‘the real issue’ we were all there for.
Be that as it may, we genuinely had a great time listening to the key-note speaker, Dr. Charles Murigande, currently the Minister of Education in Rwanda; but has recently held other positions such as Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. There was one thing that Dr. Murigande said that will stick with me for a lifetime. When talking about his decision to leave the States and return to his home country during the Rwandan genocide, he noted that 1 million Rwandans were killed. Now, that number seems like a lotof people! But Murigande really put it in perspective…he said that 1 million people dying is like:
The September 11th attacks happening 3 times per day, every day, for the duration of 3 consecutive months.
Think about that for a second. As traumatized as Americans were by that one single event, what would it be like for that same event to happen 3 times per day for 3 consecutive months?!
The remainder of the day was off-the-record for me. I can tell you though that I met with a few Ugandan diplomats and governmental officials (for Warren Throckmorton’s officially sanctioned statements, click here), the Joint Chief of Staff for Middle Eastern Relations and a couple of folks from the department of White House affairs. Your continued prayers are quite welcome for the nurturing of these intense relationships.