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, February 13, 2011

Quetzaltenango (Xela) Guatemala - 1st 48 hours

Should you be interested in visuals, this will further explain the photos in my Facebook album

Bus trip from Guate was fine; 4 1/2 hours flew by. But arriving here jolted my emotions to be sure. The school & homestay are a bit dirty; the city itself is Guatemala's 2nd largest & consequently the dirt, impoverished buildings, and traffic can be a tad overwhelming.

Ok, out & about. Well it seems the school person & homestay person do not know their bus system. I went to a mall to purchase items needed. Was told the bus stop to come back was on the next block. RIGHT! Basically made my way through throngs of people in markets more crowded & dirty that I've seen before. It just went on & on.

I found myself right in the middle of the local bus turn around station. Buses everywhere, people running about, callers calling out loudly destinations, exhaust to kill instantly, horns, buses backing up, me asking again & again Where is my bus? You get the picture.

After two hours I came upon the Central Park - 15 minutes from my homestay.

Adventure right? Hmm!


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.