I’ve been sick this past week. I ended up missing one day of volunteering and two days of work. Hopefully, I’ll be 100% better soon. The first thing I’m celebrating is having the time to recuperate. It’s really important to take care of ourselves. And I was able to catch up on stuff like completing my first reading challenge of 2014- reading all the books by Virginia Lee Burton. I also completed my online course on Writing for Children. It was somewhat informative if not at all what I expected!
The second thing I’m celebrating is attending my first reading of 2014! I’m trying to make more of an effort to attend at least one every month. I attended Ishmael Beah’s reading at Powell’s for his novel Radiance of Tomorrow. Having had read his memoir A Long Way Gone, I was at least familiar with him and his work. The place was packed.
The novel is a look into postwar life in Sierra Leone- an observation of human behavior before and after a war. He talked about the importance of storytelling traditions and the use of language, trying to capture the same essence as if it were being told in the language of that country.
I found that the Q&A yielded some great insights. Ishmael Beah talked about how one doesn’t forget the trauma of having gone through an ordeal as he had but that one has to manage. I loved the question someone asked of why when entities came to the country to offer assistance that they weren’t met with more enthusiasm. The answer was that not that the people weren’t grateful but sometimes the help wasn’t sustainable. Sometimes organizations go there for the best intentions but the solutions they provide actually do more harm than good. Their definition of what’s right is usually biased and doesn’t take into account the people who actually lived there and has to deal with it. I found it fascinating because it seems like lots of people like to barge in and fix things where nothing was broken in the first place. All in all, the reading was quite insightful.
What are you celebrating this week?