Monday, February 15, 2016

Journal 5 by Mohammed Baseer

In the book, A Long Way Gone, Chapter 16, Ishmael and his friends are saved by UNICEF and are brought to a rehabilitation center called Benin home to recover from their pasts. All the boys were given medical check ups and psycho social therapy as a part of the recovery program. Sometimes boys resorted violent acts such as throwing the tables, fighting, tying up the cook and beating him up. One day the boys beat up the in charge of storage for not providing them new mattresses. Ishmael craved for marijuana so much that he sometimes roll a paper and smoked it, His migraines returned and he saw flashbacks of his past which makes him faint all the time and ended up being in hospital bed. All the boys were given school supplies to start their school, Ishmael and his friends decided to sell their supplies and with that money they decided to go to freetown on their own. The boys had to unfortunately go to school so that they can go to freetown for weekend trips. One day the boys resorted to violence by breaking all the windows in school. After this Ishmael hand started to bleed profusely and he was once again in hospital.

Ishmael also discusses about the memories from the past, how he and his friend Alhaji were given the names Little Rambo and Snake Eyes when they went to a village to get food and supplies and ended up killing all the people in the village, this memories of Ishmael would always ended up resulting as migraines or nightmares. One day Ishmael had a nightmare of a rebel tying him up and slitting his throat with the edge of his bayonet. He also discusses the memory when the soldiers had to search for food and wood for rainy season and their long fight with rebels which bruised and almost killed him..

One of the main theme that stoods out for me in this chapter was the outbursts of sweat, nightmares and migraines the boys were going through making them more violent like hitting the wall like his friend Alhaji did. Ishmael's pain increased excessively as he rolled up all over the floor from the torments of the past, he saw blood gushing out whenever he opened the tap for water. It took more than a month for him to sleep without medicine's as he was getting adjusted to the new environment as a normal human being in Benin home.

I can relate this to my life during my high school examinations ( It's considered a big deal in India).There was a lot of peer pressure, family pressure on me to score good and I was actually stressed out. There were sleepless nights for me thinking how I would be performing in the exam. Sometimes studying without proper breaks made my head hurt so badly and the only thing I could do was to sleep well and rest and I figured out later that they were migraine attack. Thankfully I took proper medication and overcame that and also did well in my exams.
This picture depicts how a migraine feels during has a migraine attack. The condition of Ishmael when he is rolling over the ground with pain can be understood to this.

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