Monday, November 12, 2007

Half of a Yellow Sun

I am helping L work on her CV to look for a job. She is much older than me and has been on the welfare system for years and is now looking to get back to work. Before we started the whole job and CV process we were generally chatting about our past and I mentioned that I had moved here a few years ago and asked her where she was from.

L mentioned that she was from Nigeria and then to fill the silence of a lack of topics I mentioned that I had recently read a book about freedom movement for Biafra. I hadn't quite expected it, when she then told me that she was growing up in Nigeria or rather Biafra then. She soon started talking about what it like to be in Biafra, growing up at the time of the war. From being well off, her family practically became nomads, stood in queues for ration, lived near starvation and saw death and destruction all around. Reading the book was an eye-opener, but hearing it first hand was quite a different experience. She had so many stories, including how after the war she was miraculously reunited with her family.

Reading about wars around the world in the news is so different from thinking of people who are living through it. I am not sure I can articulate it clearly, but the experience of meeting L has touched me in a way I can't quite describe.


Sonal said...

That's such an amazing coincidence! So cool to hear about it in person rather than just read about it.

Pea said...

Sonal: Quite a coincidence.

Anonymous said...

That book is just, simply amazing. I think Half of a Yellow Sun should be a put in the 'essential reading' catrgory in various fora.