on a day like no other – thoughts by Dom Goggins

I am not going to go over what Chris has already said, but needless to say the tension ratcheted up about 12 notches in a very short space of time yesterday.  We are lucky to be here with each other.  Learning of the grenade attack was scary and we were nervous, particularly as we were sitting in a café at the time.  I have never had a day like it.

Our emotions were obviously heightened, and the whole cocktail of confusion swimming round my head must have something to do with the impact that the Genocide Memorial centre had on me.  I won’t bother taking you through every step.  Rather, I have been keeping a journal of the trip and will share a couple of extracts with you.

“the last section will stay with me forever.  It is filled with the faces of children, wide and smiling, with a card underneath.  Each card bears the name of the child in the lifesize picture, his/her favourite sport and food.  Their best friend, so often their brother, sister or mother.  You build a picture of this child in your mind.  Playing, laughing, singing.  First words, or steps, or day at school.  Just like us.  Underneath are their final words, followed by the manner of their death.  ‘Mummy, mummy, where do I run to?’  he was four, and shot in the head.  ‘The UN will save us’.  He was 2, and hacked to death with a machete in his mother’s arms.  ‘Pray’.  She was 18 months and it was one of the only words she knew.  She was smashed against a wall until she was dead.  18 months old.

300,000 victims are buried there – given at least some level of dignity.  As I sat by the biggest of the mass graves, on the floor with my back against a cold stone wall, I was totally alone and full of anger and despair.  The innocence.  The waste.  The violence and needless slaughter.  The fact that the whole world stood by and watched while a million people were massacred in a matter of weeks, and did nothing.  Nothing.  The genocide could have been prevented by as many troops as it took to evacuate the Westerners.  Yet there was no mandate.  We did nothing to stop this.  We had the power to, but we didn’t.

As I sat there, I knew my emotions were in turmoil but I realised for the first time that tears were streaming down my face.”

Yesterday brought home how real this situation is, and we will have to tread carefully now.  But this is the most important thing I have ever done, and I will not back down now.


11 thoughts on “on a day like no other – thoughts by Dom Goggins

  1. Dom your a brave ladd. I can’t imagine. My thoughts and prayers are with both you and Chris. Thank you both for your blogs. The rest of the world has turned its head’s to the atrosities that have taken place. Please know what you are doing, both with your runs and blogs, are educating people around the world. You are making a difference. You are educating the world. Please keep yourselves safe no matter what it takes. Go home safe and shout to the Westerners. God speed-Katherine

  2. Dom
    Just read your blog and it really moved me to tears. You and Chris are simply wonderful guys. Lots of love and stay safe. Eilish

  3. Dearest Dom and Chris

    A wonderful post, that has also left me in tears and feeling ashamed of my Western roots 😦

    I remember well similar feelings I had when I visited a number of slave castles in Ghana, covered in memorials, shackles and yes the trails of blood and stories echoing around the place about rape and torture..they still haunt me.

    You are both doing such an amazing job, raising awareness and touching the hearts and minds of the children and people you meet along the way as they have an impact on you guys also.

    Hold on to every moment, these memories will stay with you forever and enable you to make a difference to the lives of many.

    Please take the very best of care.

    With much love.


  4. Mate, this is amazing. I remember feeling something similar when I was in Cambodia and realised that everyone over the age of 27 had lived through a genocide of Holocaust proportions – truly sickening seeing young people without limbs, begging for money. Well done on this worthy cause and great writing on the blog. You’ll have to send me your entire journal when you’ve finished.

  5. Pingback: On a day like no other – thoughts from the Genocide Memorial by Dom Goggins – MAD HATTERS CHALLENGE

  6. Hi Dom. Great post. Thank you for writing it as i am sure it wasn’t easy but it is really important for all of us Westerners to know about your experience – so we start to get how real it is as well…thank you for not turning your back on DRC. Good Luck.

  7. Hey Dom and Chris

    So glad you are both ok. You are doing such an amazing thing, keep strong.

    Will keep reading the blog to see how everything is going on and will keep my fingers crossed re. the visa.

    Kat x

  8. Dearest Dom. I have no words to match yours. Nothing to say except I love you. love you, love you. Be safe. Come home and teach us. Norz. x

  9. Dom, never read anything like it, that I know someone I love has even seen, never mind been through. So proud of you Dom. Keep it up we will hear all when you get back. Love you, take good care of you. What is done cannot be undone but maybe prevented. Lots of Bartley love from Tony and Lainey xxxxxx

  10. Pingback: The end of the blogging and run for congo. « Kayaking for Congo!

  11. Pingback: The end of the blogging and run for congo. « Kayaking for Congo!

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