Monday, March 18, 2013

Blue Clay People

Blue Clay People: Seasons on Africa's Fragile Edge
Author: William Powers
Source: Recommended by mom
Days to read: 10

Traveling to Liberia to work as an aid worker to fight poverty and help save the environment, William Powers provides an incredible account of his experiences. Upon arrival in Liberia, Powers is eager and ambitious. He quickly discovers that the intricacies of the issues are far more complex than he could ever have imagined.

Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world and many cities lack running water and electricity. Upon his arrival into the capital city of Monrovia, Powers describes a mountain of garbage that is piled in the middle of the street. Children can be seen scaling it in search of useful items. While there are many parts of the book that are down right depressing, Powers also describes the wonders of Liberia such as the beaches, the rainforest and the resilient people who inhabit it. Throughout the book Powers refers to the notion of “enough”. Coming from America where consumerism is out of control, Powers is intrigued and fascinated by this mantra of the Liberian people who have so little. It is a concept that every reader should take from this story.

I really enjoyed reading this one and I learned a lot about Liberia, it’s people and the many complex issues that they face as a nation. We often think other countries problems are isolated to them and do not really affect us/we do not affect them. This book opens your eyes and dispels that argument. Who is purchasing rich and expensive mahogany furniture for their super sized homes? Not the Liberian people. However they are the ones with little choice but to clear-cut their forests and destroy the environment at an alarming rate in order to cash in on North American’s expensive tastes. This is just one example in which outside influence and life style play a major role in the many issues that Powers’ addresses and seeks to find a solution to. 

Pin It

No comments:

Post a Comment