Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Week 6; part one

A Long Way Gone
By: Ishmael Beah
Week 6; part one
The final section of this book is a great conclusion. Ishmael is soon going to live with his uncle in the city. He stays up all night wondering why, of all his family and friends that he was the one that survived. When he left the home, he had mixed emotions. He was grateful for the fact that he had found family and a home to live in, but sad to leave all of his friends at the home. Saying goodbye to some of his friends like Mambo, because Ishmael knew it would be the last. At his new home, Ishmael was fed a great meal by his aunt and was given a room to share with his cousin Allie. Allie and Ishmael quickly became friends by going to a club at night. Ishmael met a girl there, but the relationship was soon over because he was scared to let anyone in. Leslie applied Ishmael to be interviewed to go to New York for a conference, and days later Ishmael was selected. After getting his passport, visa, and new cloths, he flew to New York with Dr. Tamba and Bah who were also attending the conference. Ishmael experienced taller buildings, his fist winter coat, and his first snowfall all in one day. At the meeting, other boys with difficult childhoods told their stories and how they have overcome them, or how they have to go back to them. Laura, who was an adult storyteller at the conference, toured the city and its many sights with Bah and Ishmael. On the last day of the conference, Ishmael told his story from his heart, instead of what was written for him and was hugely successful. When leaving New York, Ishmael, Bah, and Laura were all crying at the airport. They exchanged addresses and numbers then they were off. Ishmael returned to his uncle and immediately began in a secondary school. Things weren’t normal for long. The city was invaded and guns were constantly being fired. For weeks the fighting never stopped. Ishmael’s uncle became sick and died soon after. With fear of becoming a soldier again he left the city to go to New York and live with Laura, who agreed that Ishmael could live with her. He took a bus to cross the border into Guinea, and then got to the capital, Conakry. They would constantly be stopped by checkpoints where soldiers would make them pay to pass and search for any valuables. Lucky for him, he became friends with someone that spoke the native language of Guinea so he could communicate to get what he needed. Almost out of money, Ishmael snuck onto his last bus to get where he needed. He did make it to the Sierra Leone Embassy, and knew he was finally safe.

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