justin adler, blog, buenos aires, bahia blanca, university of arizona, brooklyn, basketball, travel, paul mcpherson

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Valentino Achak Deng of Lobsters

I’ve been reading Dave Eggers’ What is The What, the book that chronicles the hardships suffered by former Sudanese Lost Boy Valentine Achak Deng.

During Sudan’s second civil war, the 8-year-old Deng was displaced from his home in Marial Bai and began walking through the desert to Ethiopia. After enduring unimaginable levels of suffering he arrives in Ethopia only to find it worse than Sudan. Soon after he’s forced (by the gunfire of Ethiopian rebels) to flea to a refugee camp in Kenya.

Throughout his entire journey Deng's primary goal is to return to Marial Bai, where he hope his family is still alive. While on his trek he hitches a ride in the back of a cargo truck. At first he’s unsure of the bizarre surface he’s standing on inside the truck until he realizes that he’s stepping on a decomposed head and is surrounded by the corpses of tens of dead refugees.

Today while shopping for dinner at the Santa Caterina Market I saw a lobster walking on top of countless pounds of gutted fish and all I could think about was how badly I wanted to buy that lobster and safely ship him to Marial Bai.