Refugee All-Stars

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One of my favorite bands is The Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars. They sing a song: “Living like a refugee is not easy….”

One day in 2004 I was driving with Sarah B. over the Charles River.  We were taking SA to the Dance Complex to see an African dance performance that Selena was dancing in. SA was probably 15 years old at the time.

Sarah B. looked out the window and said: “Look at the boats on the water, isn’t it beautiful?”

There were sailboats with their white sails billowing, skiff boats filled with color coordinated co-eds, and the occasional kayak or canoe paddling along.

“Actually I hate boats and the water,” SA said with a flat smile.

I took another look out over the bridge at the river. I tried to imagine how anyone could hate such a pastoral scene: sky clear-blue, birds, the whole deal.

“One time, when we were leaving Somalia, there was this boat with maybe 600 people on it. Everyone was trying to run away. We were too but we couldn’t get a place on the boat. We were waiting in line hoping. But it was too many people, too heavy and the boat sank and everyone drowned.”

So when people say: “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it…” what will the view be from that bridge, for the people crossing over.

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