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...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Martin from Hungary at the bus stop in Portland

Looking at my map, a man asked me where I wanted to go. This started an interesting conversation. Martin came from Hungary many years ago. We talked about both Hungary and the U.S. He thinks our current President is excellent, doing his best no matter the flack.

I told him about the unpleasant experience at the Amnesty International event in London. He said yes there was still a lot of anti-semitism in Europe. For him Hungary was in the fore front of it before Hitler came along. To him there are three kinds:

  • an old fashioned version - looking down on Jews an inferior
  • a newer version which is more anti-Israel
  • a version that he feels is present in a country like France, you dress differently, therefore...

We both agreed that many of Israel's actions are reprehensible. But it is not just Israel. Hamas, Arab states are just as guilty. It seems that once people get into power, it changes them drastically. (Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.)

Arriving at my stop, wee bid farewell but not before Martin made sure I knew how to get from the garden to Powell's Book Store. As I walked along, I dropped my book. immediately a man went to pick it up.

Interesting conversation, courtesy abounding, quite an afternoon in Portland!

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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.