Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Long Way Gone



This is your first reading assignment. We have been ready a lot in preparation for our sabbatical- notably, White Man's Burden which examines the failure of traditional models of charity in Africa. Maybe we'll report in later or at least update our sidebar.

I also stocked up some books in the Kindle that my folks gave me. Though I love the smell and feel of books, I don't really like packing and hauling them and the Kindle was an awesome gift for this trip. I've uploaded some books on African history and the couple written by Ghanaians that were available to be downloaded. I was eager to begin reading but was automatically drawn to the Gongwer's bookshelves while staying with them in Accra. And that's where I found A Long Way Gone. This memoir was written by Ishmael Beah as the heartbreaking story of his life as a child soldier in Sierra Leone. I cried many times along the way at the horrors of war and Ishmael's tender manner of describing the loss of his family.

Here he quotes his father: "If you are alive, there is hope for a better day and something good to happen." A comment that mirrors much of what our friends say about the hope that resides in Africans.

It is not an easy read, but an illuminating story of one of the estimated 300,000 AK-47 wielding - and often drug-addicted - child soliders in different conflicts around the world.

5 comments:

christian and amanda said...

just read a review of the novel "Good man in Africa" on NPR.org. looks interesting.

J. said...

I enjoyed this book too. Intense.

Anonymous said...

Small world. It was here on the shelf at your parent's home in Memphis while you were here but we were so busy visiting...we are so proud of you and Coy and making a difference XOXOXO

Aunt Sue said...

I read A Long Way Gone last year and also wept. I was so impressed with the author's new life and the role of the UN in it. This reminds me to tell you that Susannah is teaching one gifted class and their 1st Quarter is a focus on South Africa beginning with the World Cup!
Will send more info via email...

Susan said...

This was a great read. Courtney had the opportunity to meet and talk with Ishmael Beah a couple of years ago in NY through someone she knows who works for the IRC.