Mrs Kimberly Endicott, the American tourist who was last month kidnapped in Queen Elizabeth and held captive for nearly five days around the Uganda-DR Congo border, has revealed that even while she was being held hostage by her captors the natural beauty of Uganda hypnotized her.
Mrs. Endicott was in an interview on American TV network CBS this morning, speaking for the first time about her kidnap in Uganda at the start of this month. Even her interviewer was surprised and asked how she could come to appreciate the beauty of nature in such circumstances.
Mrs. Endicott narrated that what while herself and her guide JP Mirenge Remezo had been walking with their captors across the Ugandan border to the more unstable Democratic Republic of Congo, suddenly the natural beauty of the area mesmerized her and even got her thinking it might save her to establish a human relationship with her captors.
“And then the sun is setting and we keep walking and it gets to complete, like, pitch darkness,” Mrs. Endicott said. “So at one point we stopped. And I look up in the sky and I see the most beautiful sky I’ve ever seen in my life.”
“It’s nothing like I’ve ever seen before. And that was when I became very aware of humanizing myself to them … I said, ‘Look at the sky.’ I said, ‘We don’t have this at home.'”
Endicott said a “relationship” of sorts then began with the young men who were her captors in the camp of some kind of militia organisation where she was being kept.
“I just start talking to them like I’m talking to you,” Endicott told King. “But all the while I’m watching these young men drink water, not from the river, but from a hole in the ground. But they have bottled water for me.”
She ended up feeling compassion for the men, saying, “How could I not?”
“Cause that’s their life. It’s not really above living like an animal. That’s their life. If I survive this, I have a life to go back to. That’s their life,” Endicott said. “That does not condone what they did. Not even close.”
The American tourist said she even grew to see her kidnappers as her protectors, because they went around protecting her from others in the camp who might have wanted to harm her.
Despite what she went through, Endicott says Uganda is an incredibly beautiful people that others should endeavour to visit, and she believes it is a safe place to visit wherein she was only an exception to the rule.
“Certain things will trigger me. One time in the camp we went for a walk out at a nature area and it just triggered me like nobody’s business. The sound of our feet on the ground, pushing bushes out of my way – and so i’m getting in touch with that there’s gonna be that probably for a while.”
“A beautiful country … of immensely friendly, accommodating people. And everyone in hospitality. After you would have a conversation, the last thing they said to you was, ‘please tell all of your friends to come,” Mrs Endicott said.