Eight people are under arrest in connection with the kidnapping of an American tourist and a local guide.
There are conflicting reports as to whether ransom was paid.
The pair was released six days after they were abducted at gunpoint.
During the emotional reunion, Kimberly Sue Endicott cracks a joke.
It had been mere moments since a tense ransom and hostage exchange.
Before that, days of walking, crossing borders into the lawless Democratic Republic of Congo, sleeping in the open and relentless mosquitoes.
Yet after a hot shower and a hot meal, Endicott reappears a survivor.
Now coiffed and composed, displaying a range of emotions as she savors her first hours of freedom.
She’s still surrounded by strangers, but these are the ones who are giving her comfort and protection, perhaps the beginning of a friendship that may continue, inviting them to visit her in California.
As she walks the dusty, five-minute journey to the waiting police helicopter flanked by armed U.S. and Ugandan officials, she shows flashes of humor and the tension.
But also, a more serious moment.
And a moment of compassion for her guide Jean Paul Mirenge, also known as JP, who was kidnapped with her and shared the trauma of the ordeal.
A new bond with strangers.
Endictott’s friends back in Southern California tell the tale of a very private woman whose face is now known across the world.
For now, she’s in Uganda in the care of U.S. embassy and FBI officials.
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