Sunday, October 14, 2007

Week four; part two

A Long Way Gone
By: Ishmael Beah
Week four part two

This section started off with Ishmael and his four friends walking for days, until they came across a group of soldiers. They ordered the boys to follow them, but instead of being brutally captured, the soldiers brought the boys to town. The town seemed safe, and had many soldiers guarding it. The town was actually a base for the military. The boys were served with food, helped with chores, and given places to sleep. Instead of being scared all the time, the village was up and about. Soccer games were going on regularly, people were swimming, it seemed like it was before the war. Although Ishmael didn’t enjoy this, he was too occupied with thinking about his family. He and the lieutenant had a connection too. They both enjoyed reading Shakespeare a lot. But as the boys started getting used to this living style again, it all changed. The soldiers of the town were sent to fight the rebels who were getting close to the town. Fear retuned to the boys. But this time it wasn’t just because war was coming close, it was because they were going to be a part of it. The lieutenant said that the rebels were too strong and had too many men. They needed the boys of the village to fight to protect the base. So they immediately began training. They were taught that the gun was their new best friend; their means of staying alive; their safety. Through all of the days of training, when the first battle came, neither Ishmael nor any of the other boys were prepared. Scared beyond belief, they took off with their guns in hand to the front line. In battle, it took Ishmael a long time to actually pull the trigger. Once he did, he couldn’t be stopped. The gun became his power, his way of taking anger of his family deaths out. The gun was his best friend. Musa and Josiah, Ishmaels friends, were killed were killed in the first battle. After that first battle, Ishmael’s life changed. The lieutenant started giving him and the other boys drugs though out the day. Killing didn’t faze him anymore. He became proud when he killed. This went on for two years, until the UNICEF saved the boy soldiers, but not in the boys’ eyes. They felt rejected by their lieutenant, and very angry. The UNICEF took the boys to the capital of Sierra Leone, Freetown. There they were given food and beds and were being treated. Instead of changing right away, it took the boys much time to get back their correct frame of mind. They got in a fight with other boy soldiers. The stabbing, shooting, and killing weren’t stopped for twenty minutes, when six boys were already dead.

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