2 Forms of Service. 1 Inspiring Book. March 29, 2011  by      

Today is a special day.  Today CFK co-founder Rye Barcott’s memoir launches.


It Happened on the Way to War: A Marine’s Path to Peace (Bloomsbury) by Rye Barcott  is about the melding of social entrepreneurship and military service, and the power of small groups of committed citizens to make a difference.  In 2000, as an ROTC student at UNC-Chapel Hill, Rye sought to understand ethnic violence in preparation to be a Marine. He studied Swahili and spent half a summer living in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya, where he stumbled into friendship with a widowed nurse, Tabitha Atieno Festo, and a tough community organizer, Salim Mohamed. Together they built Carolina for Kibera using a model of participatory development to break cycles of violence and spark change from within.  Rye continued his leadership in CFK while fulfilling his military duties. He struggled with the stress of leading Marines in dangerous places and carried lessons from Kibera in an attempt to become a more effective counter-insurgent.

In reflecting about the book, Rye writes “Hopefully it will help inspire and inform other citizens (especially college students) to serve and apply a participatory approach to the communities that they are connected to, in or out of uniform, at home or abroad.”

Join us for the book tour. Dates >> ithappenedonthewaytowar.com

Buy your copy

“Rye Barcott has given us a truly amazing memoir — humane, harrowing, inspiring, and complex in its portrayal of an almost paradoxical accommodation between Eros and Thanatos.  This is at least as much a compassionate and emboldening manifesto as it is a work of autobiography.” – Tim O’Brien, author of THE THINGS THEY CARRIED

“Riveting. A beautifully written memoir that reads like a novel and reveals fundamental truths about good, evil, and our common humanity.” –Ishmael Beah, author of A LONG WAY GONE

“Rye Barcott’s engaging and candid memoir on the catalytic power of participatory development shows us that, whether we are in the slums of the world’s biggest cities, in rural Haiti, or on college campuses, we can learn from Tabitha, Salim, and Rye—a nurse, a community organizer, and a young Marine living in urban poverty—about how to fight extreme privation and bring about lasting change.

Dr. Paul Farmer, professor, Harvard Medical School, and co-founder of Partners In Health


4 responses to “2 Forms of Service. 1 Inspiring Book.”

  1. Tripp says:

    It’s a great read!

  2. Jane says:

    I ran across the book in my local bookstore on Friday & was convinced to buy it on the strength of the blurb by Paul Farmer, my hero.

    I read it cover to cover over the weekend and came to your site today to donate. 🙂 I was all excited to donate $26 and was sorry but not deterred by the fact that $26 is not an option on your donation screen. In any event, count me in for $25.

  3. Brad Spencer says:

    IHOTHWW is a moving, powerful book that I finished reading on my 47th birthday. My family’s birthday gift to me is that all of us will read and discuss the book during the month of June. Thank you for doing what needs to be done in Kibera, and I offer further gratitude to you for capturing your effort in the book. It is doubtless that the book will inspire others to become servants in some way. Maybe one or two of our family will visit CFK in Kibera.

  4. Keep working ,fantastic job!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *