I will never forget that August 7, 1998 was a Friday. In Croatia I finished a report for work. My colleague-friend Melinda and I had taken a day of leave and arrived on Croatia's beautiful, rocky, pine-scented Dalmatian coast to spend a weekend away from our human rights work with OSCE. We unlocked the door to our little hotel room. Which of us happened to turn on the TV? We saw the images of devastation and knew something dreadful had occurred. Then the little lightbox told us that what we were observing had taken place in the city centre of Nairobi, Kenya. Something told me I'd soon learn more about this tragedy. So many paths in my life eventually seem to converge. In August 1998 and in spite of my family's distinctive African ancestry, I had never yet had the opportunity to venture anywhere in Africa other than northern Africa. Back in Washington I did have an acquaintance named Julian who, like Melinda and many of my friends, shared my affinity for the world. While on loan from his State Department career, I'd met Julian Bartley when he was doing foreign policy work on the congressional staff of U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson. A few years later, ten days after my trip to the Croatian coast with Melinda, the other piece of news arrived from my friend "A" back in Washington.