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...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Grace and Magic - fotbol, pool, ten pins, and a treat at the Gaucho in Picadilly

No time for jet lag! After warm greetings & hugs, we were off to the Jamaican Pub where the guys could watch the African Cup (soccer - Ivory Coast beat Ghana to move to the quarter finals). There is no TV at the Catholic Worker House in London so they were glued to it.

Michael, new to the house from Kenya, enjoyed ginger ale, first time in several years. After the game, Amanuel spied the empty pool table & asked me to play. His skill at deftly letting me win, but in a way that looked like it was my skill (I did have a number of good shots!) put me in a position of playing a regular player. I insisted Amanuel continue in my place; he won the game. Everyone of the guys stood around and enjoyed themselves.

Saturday, Zelda & I took six of the guys to Finsbury to bowl. One reads about community. This was the real thing. Everyone is rooting & enjoying each other. Cheers, high fives or mutual groans accompanied every ball. Some of the guys had never picked up a bowling ball. It was good to see that the ball did not drag them down the alley with it! No surprise, Amanuel won accompanied by a cheering group of friends.

Afterward, we headed out for, you got it a KFC type of place! Again, much enjoyment. The guys rarely get to eat out.

I wish I an effective writer so that I could effectively capture the magic of these moments: men, all destitute and thousands of miles from home. Most have been tortured and lost family, in some cases all their family.

Nations represented in our outings: Kenya, Eritrea, Senegal, Iran, The Congo, U.K. and USA.

GAUCHO PICADILLY - A sumptuous dinner treat from Danny.

Danny, a good friend I met at the Urban Table last visit and a Jesuit Volunteer, treated me to a sumptuous steak dinner after Mass on Sunday. Great conversation and wonderful food were the order of the evening. Do check the restaurant online. Not quite comparable to my hostel!

Thanks Danny!

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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.