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 20, 2009

Southend On the Sea

Into the County of Essex, we traveled to meet up with Zelda. It was a bright sunny day in the upper 60's to low 70's.

Atlantic City 1950's

In the 50's as a 3rd, 4th grader, my aunt Anne used to take me to Atlantic City for a week or more. Long before the Casinos, it was a peaceful and fun summer trip - full of shows, rides, cotton candy, plenty of beach, and a board walk on which I rode a bike from one end to the other in the early mornings. That's exactly what the promenade at Southendt looks like to me, well without the boards. Lovely old homes in the distance and row upon row of shops, fun rides (amusement rides), and eateries - both quick and sit down.

The water is the Thames which comes from the North Sea. Mostly a pebbly beach, it is pleasant to walk along and feel the familiar smell and sounds of the sea.

My friend from Eritrea and I went on the roller coaster and dutifully made appropriate sounds! A new experience for me was a snack on cockles - any bivalve mollusk of the genus Cardium, having somewhat heart-shaped, radially ribbed valves.
For a pic go to:

Zelda, up for anything, wanted us to paddle in (wade in) the water. We declined! Not quite our cup of tea - cold & muddy.

There had been a Regatta at nearby Leigh on the Sea. So on our way back, we stopped to walk along the beach. Finally bidding Cheers to Zelda at Basildon, we two went back to London, and after a small meal of fish and chips settled down to watch Season Two of 24. To think I had came to London to see 24 !

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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.