Books Worth a Look

  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave - This book is a must read. Better than anything else I've read, it takes you vividly into the life of a person in the 3rd world who has no choice but to escape. It is brilliantly written & works well as an audio book. Often I've sent info about the wonderful refugees I've met in Europe. We know only so much of their plight as it is painful for them to recall much less live through again by recounting it. But over time it is clear what they've lived through. This book is excellent as you discover the horrors of their world. Somewhat how to me, it is like being in Europe near a Concentration Camp. One has an obligation to visit it. 'Never to Forget.' In this case, to have our eyes opened.
  • Garbage King by Eliz Laird - The book is set on the streets on Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia and here lives Mamo and his sister Tiggist. When Mamo's "uncle" offers a job, he soon sets out on a bus to work. Little does he know that he is actually being sold into slavery...

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Day Trip to Dover Castle & the WW II tunnels with Amani from Eritrea

If you've read previous posts, you know a bit about Amani. An impressive young man, 27, who had to flee Eritrea because he had the audacity to have a religious ceremony in his own house.

He first went to Italy, but the only help there is from the local Catholic Churches. He then fled to Britain hiding on trains through Italy & France. The walk long the White Cliffs of Dover brought back memories of having arrived several years before on a lorrie.

I just completed an interesting book about a young boy with Asperger's syndrome. The lady on the train with the food trolley gasped when she saw my copy. we were puzzled, but then she showed us her copy. Then, go figure, a man borded the train and he said "I just finished reading that this morning!" small world.

Dover is a pleasant unassuming town. The walk to the castle and fort is vigorous as it is a steep climb for about 15 minutes - unless you want to wait for the local bus that runs once an hour.

The site itself is well worth visiting: like Cardiff Castle, it dates back to the roman times & serving as a garrison. The Saxon Church & lighthouse are impressive. The castle, outer bailey and keep are very interesting.

There is a guided tour of the tunnels - first built to prepare for an invasion by Napoleon. They were enlarged in the 40's and served a major role on both the Dunkirk and D Day events.

Amani is an amazing young m,an who insists in letting you go first through nay door and will not take no to carrying your things.

Back in London, we took a bus home. On the way, we passed many pubs with the young and well off sitting outside. I ached to think he might taken notice & feel the obvious gulf between what is possible for them and him.

we walked through a neighborhood filled with Vietnamese restaurants. He wanted Kebob - if i did! He found a little shop. I have to say it was the best dinner I've had in my 7 weeks here.

Now if only we could find a way to get him his papers so that he could go to school. He is very bright. I find it difficult to think of the hurdles he faces.

Arrived in Oslo several hours ago trip. It's sunny out & I'm off to do some touring.

P.S. Biden is a great choice!

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Thoughts on the amazing people I get to meet.

Rich, my 19 year old friend, soon to be Franciscan and recent community member at Haley House in Boston. An article he wrote.