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...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Praha aka Prague - Part 2.

The trams (streetcars) offer a unique opportunity to see a lot including some wonderful views of the city across the Vltava River. Sir Toby's Hostel allows you to approach the city center and get a feel for its character. Go right across a bridge (most) and arrive at Wenceslas Square, the place where Czech's throughout history gathered to celebrate or protest.

In the Old Town Square, Jan Hus, stands proudly against religious excess. Interestingly, a Hussite church explains the role of Catholic priests about 100 years ago who tried to convince the Vatican to be more open to the world. Today much of what they wanted is in Vatican II.

The Charles River Bridge reminds one of the bridges in Florence though quite different.

Take a ride on Tram 22 past the Castle and see some lovely sites; stop for a soda, pint or coffee and enjoy a wonderful summer day - people watching in a non-tourist area!

It becomes clear that though guide books are quite helpful, you can easily fall prey to develop a "To Do Checklist" which can make it more of a marathon than a stroll to enjoy the culture.

Prague offers a lot to see. Touristy can be a problem! I think in my return visit, I'll pack a nice lunch and spend the whole day in the Castle - which is actually a large site with gardens outside the deer moat and two churches, walking areas and other site inside.

Both here and in the Jewish Quarter you can easily get drawn into buying a pass that covers all. They're pricey and afterwards you're likely to feel that you've been on a sort of tour workout!

Do come to Prague and other countries in Eastern Europe. There is so much to see and learn.

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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.