Monday, June 30, 2014

The Lost Boys of Sudan!

Monday is Africa day, so since I'm in the middle of What is the What, I thought it would be good to talk about the Lost Boys of Sudan.

Who are the Lost Boys?
The Lost Boys of Sudan is the name given to the groups of over 20,000 boys of the Nuer and Dinka ethnic groups who were displaced and/or orphaned during the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983 to 2005); about 2.5 million were killed and millions were displaced.  The name "Lost Boys of Sudan" was colloquially used by aid workers in the refugee camp where the boys resided in Africa. The term was revived, as children fled the post-independence violence of South Sudan with Sudan during 2011–13.--Lost Boys of Sudan
Since 1983, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Sudanese Government have been at war in southern Sudan. The conflict has already claimed more than 500,000 lives and displaced huge numbers of people. Among these were at least 20,000 children, mostly boys, between 7 and 17 years of age who were separated from their families. 
These'lost boys' of the Sudan trekked enormous distances over a vast unforgiving wilderness, seeking refuge from the fighting. Hungry, frightened and weakened by sleeplessness and disease, they crossed from the Sudan into Ethiopia and back, with many dying along the way. The survivors are now in camps in Kenya, the Sudan and Uganda.--Unicef
 I read Running for my Life back in 2012. Here is my short review:
This book is amazing! It is the true life story of a lost boy from Sudan who makes it to America. I have a heart for Africa, especially Sudan, so I found this story fascinating. Lopez is also a Christian whose faith carries him through his many hardships in Sudan and Kenya and after he makes it to America. God provided him a loving family and parents who believed in him.
He went on to compete in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. He now has a foundation that helps many in Sudan. The book was hard to put down, and the author does a great job of pulling you in to become a part of the story. I highly recommend this book.
I am currently reading What is the What.  Below is part of a New York magazine review about the book:
What Is the What tells the story of a refugee from the second Sudanese civil war (1983–2005), one of the 20,000 so-called Lost Boys who walked thousands of miles from their decimated villages (their homes burned by Arab militiamen, most of the adults slaughtered) to relative safety in Ethiopia and later Kenya.
In a region with no shortage of unimaginable horrors—the ongoing genocide in Darfur has taken some 300,000 lives with no signs of abating—the particulars of the Lost Boys have long stood out as a crushing reminder of the primitive cruelty of African warfare.
Few were older than 10 when they were displaced, and many died during their journey, some of starvation and dehydration, others at the mercy of lions and armed forces. It is a tragedy related by the extraordinarily clear-eyed Valentino Achak Deng, one of 4,000 refugees offered sanctuary in the U.S. in 2001, who is reflecting back while trying to survive an altogether different struggle: assimilation into a culture defined by its short-term memory and chronic indifference to the world beyond its borders.
I recently watched the documentary, Lost Boys of Sudan which shows the difficulties of transitioning to life in the United States.

My heart goes out to the countless children of Sudan, and other African countries who have been orphaned by war.  The needs are great, but we can all take action and do something, even if it seems small.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Remembering The 60's!

Today is my first post in a series of history posts that I am going to do every Thursday.  I'm excited about having a different topic each day of the week to blog about.

I am watching a series on CNN right now, The Sixties.  The 60's are fascinating to me because a lot happened in that decade right before I was born.  Three assassinations happened--JFK, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy.  It is also the decade of the Civil Rights movement, which I am very passionate about.

Do You Remember and many other media outlets had a lot about JFK's assassination last November, since it was the 50th anniversary.  I had DVR'd many shows about the assassination and of course, true to the way I work, I just recently got around to watching them all.

I was fascinated, because even though I had read a lot about JFK, his assassination and the Kennedys, I had never seen footage of things, because it happened before I was born.

Killing Kennedy, which was based on O'Reilly's book was very comprehensive and gave a great overview.  I watched quite a few other documentaries, and I was amazed at how absurd so many of the conspiracy theories were.  I consider myself, for the most part, to be anti-conspiracy.  Learning about the conspiracy theories surrounding JFK's assassination only further convinced me of my mindset.

Stay tuned for next week's history post, unless something else grabs my attention, I plan on talking about the 20th anniversary of the OJ Simpson trial.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Blogging Topics!

I am trying to get back into a blogging routine. I've decided that since I have such a variety of passions, I will blog about a different one each day. I'll start off assigning days and see how that goes.
Tuesday--Criminal Justice
Wednesday--Book/Movie/TV reviews
Friday--Political/Current Events Smorgasbord
Tomorrow, I will blog on something fascinating in history!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Courageous 14 Year Old Hero--Hunter Gandee

For Hunter, the walk was about doing something for his brother. 'I can't even describe to you how special (Braden) is to me. I can't put it into words,' the teen said. 'He's awesome. He's always there for me. I really just wanted to give back to him in some way.'
--You'll need to get the kleenex out for this story. Hunter Gandee, 14, carried his younger brother (who has Cerebral Palsy) on his back, for 40 miles.

--He wanted to do the walk to raise awareness for Cerebral Palsy.

--This story hits close to home since my youngest child has developmental delays that are similar to having mild Cerebral Palsy.

--The love Hunter has for his brother just melts my heart, and is simply amazing and inspirational.  We need a lot more Hunters in this world.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

2014 Book List--Part 2

--I'm having a good reading year so far.  Right now, I'm in the middle of Marcus Luttrell's book, Lone Survivor.  It is a fascinating book, I am learning a lot about the Navy Seals.  I saw the movie at the theater, and just ordered the DVD on Amazon.

1) Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight--Karl Rove
2) The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House--Barbara Olson
3) The Kennedy Wit--Bill Adler
4) Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama--Ann Coulter
5) Relax-You May Only Have a Few Minutes Left: Using the Power of Humor to Overcome Stress in Your Life and Work--Loretta LaRoche
6) You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life--Eleanor Roosevelt
7) American Patriots: Answering the Call to Freedom--Rick Santorum
8) Raylan--Elmore Leonard
9) The Barbarian Way: Unleash the the Untamed Faith Within--Erwin Raphael McManus
10) Fatal Vows: The Tragic Wives of Sergeant Drew Peterson--Joseph Hosey
11) The Everything Organize Your Home Book--Jason R. Rich
12) Chasing the Devil: My Twenty-Year Quest to Capture the Green River Killer--David Reichert
13) Drinking and Dating: P.S. Social Media is Ruining Romance--Brandi Glanville
14) Willoughby's Return: A Tale of Almost Irresistable Temptation--Jane Odiwe
15) Eat That Cookie--Liz Jazwiec
16) Heath Ledger: His Beautiful Life and Mysterious Death--John McShane
17) Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors: And Other True Cases--Ann Rule
18) Amazing Things Will Happen: A Real-World Guide on Achieving Success and Happiness--C.C. Chapman
19) Deep Thoughts From a Hollywood Blonde--Jennie Garth
20) Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity--Hugh MacLeod
21) Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings
--Michelle Knight
22) In Freedom's Cause: A Story of Wallace & Bruce--G.A. Henty
23) In the Still of the Night: The Strange Death of Ronda Reynolds and Her Mother's Unceasing Quest for the Truth--Ann Rule

2014 Book List--Part 1
2013 Book List
2012 Book List
2011 Book List
2010 Book List
2008 Book List

Friday, June 06, 2014

70th Anniversary of D-Day!

This 88 year old veteran just made a very special trip to the shores of Normandy where he landed on D-Day 70 years ago. What happened while he was there was unbelievably touching!  Read more!
 --The above video is how we should treat all our veterans. If this doesn't make you tear up, I don't know what will.

--Do You Remember?--An amazing website, that all history buffs should love!  They had a great article about the 70th Anniversary--D-Day: Beginning of the End of World War II
On June 6th, 1944—70 years ago today—a military operation commenced that would prove decisive in the outcome of World War II a year later. This was the beginning of the Allied landings at Normandy—D-Day—when 156,000 American, British and Canadian fighters approached the French coastline by air and sea to liberate it from German occupation.

--The KC Star remembers 4 area veterans--70 Years After D-Day, families Remember area Veterans who missed the Big Anniversary

--This was an aspect about D-Day that I wasn't aware of--Military Deception Fooled Hitler on D-Day, and It Still Works Today

--No D-Day Anniversary would be complete without Reagan's amazing speech on the 40th Anniversary! H/T Tammy Bruce

Additional Links:
--D-Day: Then & Now