Learning To Love You More




Assignment #59
Interview someone who has experienced war.

Brad Ellertson
Vancouver, Washington USA



Eka Frimpong Growing Up During the Biafran/Nigerian War
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Q: What do you remember most about the time growing up during the war?
A: I remember all the males from our town being gone. The Biafran soldiers would recruit all able men to fight for them.
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Q: Were any of the men in your family recruited?
A: No, my father was the chief at the time and he had a friend that was a part of the Biafran military, and he tipped off my dad to hide.
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Q: Where did they hide?
A: They hid out in the bush, and the women of the families of all the men in hiding, would take them food and hide it for them to find in certain spots. That is the only way that they were able to hide for so long, because we were able to get them food so they didn't need to come into the town and be captured.
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Q: When did your family decide it was time to leave your town?
A: We decided to leave when the violence escalated to where it was no longer safe for our family.
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Q: How did your family escape the town?
A: First, we hid all of our belongings in the ground. Our neighbor helped us dig a very deep hole and put all our valuables in there. The rest we left in our home. Then my mother began watching and following the guards to see when the best time to get away would be.
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Q: So she was spying on the military?
A: Yes, she found out that almost all the guards go to lunch at the bar in the middle of town. So, she bought canoes in the following days and told us that we were going to be leaving soon. But before we left, my mother bribed the bar owner to get all the soldiers drunk at lunch, so that they would be less likely to realize we were leaving and if they did they wouldn't be a very good shot.
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Q: Did your mother's plan work?
A: Almost, someone in town tipped off the soldiers when they were at the bar drinking and they immediately came looking for us. The person even told them where we were going, and about our canoes to cross the river.
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Q: So what did you do?
A: We could here them coming after us, and we were almost to the river when they saw us and began shooting at us. My whole family just ran into the river and began swimming as fast as we could to the other side.
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Q: Did they come after you?
A: No, there is a bridge that connects the two sides of the river and the Biafran's were on one side of the river and the Nigerian Military was on the other. So, they couldn't cross the river to come after us because the Nigerian Military would shoot them. They could only try to shoot us in the river as we swam, but no was shot.
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Q: Did you ever go back to your town?
A: Yes, it was only a few months later when it was over, but all of the valuables we had buried were gone. We think the man that helped us bury them took them. But we were fine. My dad was never captured, so we didn't lose anyone. Then we just carried on as if nothing had ever happened.
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Q: Did the war change your family at all?
A: It made us closer than we already were.