Roll out the Red Carpet Please…

I thought about what we could do for our last day in Ireland after three weeks of non stop drinking, traveling, sleeping in tents and cars, and about 3 hours of rest a night. The best I could come up with was the movies. We hadn’t done anything with a hint of normalcy during the entire trip. A day at the movies was just want we needed, but we ended up getting a lot more than we paid for.

I was going to change from the clothes that I wore the day before, but I no longer saw the point. Everything that I had with me was equally dirty, worn, and nasty. We were very familiar with being in dirty clothes. As we walked down the street, I noticed several other people that looked like they were wearing bar clothes. I assumed that they were doing the walk of shame that occurs after hooking-up at the bar the night before. Their presence made me feel better about myself. Continue reading

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Through Hell and Back – Ishmael Beah’s Story

There may be as many as 300,000 child soldiers, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s, in more than fifty conflicts around the world. Ishmael Beah, author of A LONG WAY GONE, used to be one of them. As a member of the Human Rights Watch Children Advisory Committee, he spoke to teachers and students at Hampton High School in Hampton, New Brunswick. It was here that I first heard Beah speak about his horrific, terror-filled childhood. He lived with his family in Sierra Leone until 1991, when rebels attacked and violently destroyed his village. They raped women and girls in front of their husbands, fathers, and brothers, took young girls as sex slaves, and killed the rest of their families. When most 12-year-olds were enjoying the innocence of childhood, including me, Beah was struggling to stay alive. I thank Beah for pouring out his soul to the audience. It is proof of Beah’s theory that “…children have the resilience to outlive their sufferings, if given a chance”. Continue reading