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...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Greetings from Hackney - London N1

I hope this finds everyone well.

I received an incredibly warm welcome here. One young man hugged me so hard and so long that I had think back about 20 years since that happened - a newly graduated high school Senior who had struggled.

Another who is fun but tends to be somewhat reticent, kept giving me periodic hugs. The two kind, regular house managers smiled (I hope!) as soon the house was ringing with laughter. To avoid jet lag, I managed to stay up 34 hours.

Yesterday there was a Mass and social for local Catholic Workers. I met a young couple from Australia who live here London now. They had just returned from Australia. They have rock/metal group. David is going to send me a link which I'll share.

I have begun to network to try to better understand the asylum processes. I'd like to try to help some of the guys' applications to move along.

One, my favorite, his got lost and the lawyers forgot all about it. One blessing is that now that he has been here longer than 18 months, they cannot force him to return to Italy. He has immigrated to Italy from Africa. The experience in Italy was very bad. The EU policy is to insist that you apply for Asylum in the country in which you first enter. Italy is not helpful.

Tomorrow will be the soup kitchen and Monday begins the Community Cafe. It is great fun for me as I get to renew acquaintances with many people each day.

One person, Maureen, who volunteered at the soup kitchen on Sundays just died. She was only in her 50's. I had thought she was younger. I wondered why her email stopped abruptly mid-year. I was shaken by the news of her death as I liked her very much.

Be well all and I'll blog again when there's something worth hearing!



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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.