There was a war in Sierra Leone, Africa, from 1991 to 2002 where a rebel army stormed through African villages amputating and raping citizens left and right (“Sierra Leone Profile”). Adebunmi Savage, a former citizen of Sierra Leone, describes the reality of this civil war:
In 1996 the war in Sierra Leone was becoming a horrific catastrophe. Children were recruited to be soldiers, families were murdered, death came easily, and staying alive was a privilege. Torture became the favorite pastime of the Revolutionary United Front rebel movement, which was against the citizens who supported Sierra Leone’s president, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. I was in the grips of genocide and there was nothing I could do. Operation No Living Thing was put into full effect (Savage 33).
The R.U.F., however, was not alone in servicing children as their own messengers of evil, the military group countering their acts of violence also had children fighting their battles. A Long Way Gone and The Bite of the Mango are eye-opening books because they give various people all over the world a glimpse into the horrors kids in Africa were facing on a daily basis. However different Mariatu Kamara and Ishmael Beah’s experiences were regarding their journeys and disabilities, they both exhibited the same extraordinary resilience in the end to better themselves, create futures they could be proud of, and make the best with what the war left them.
Kamara and Beah’s journeys were notably different, starting with their vantage points are early involvement in the war. They both grew up in traditional African villages and were traveling home from neighboring villages when they first encountered rebels. They both also knew about the threat of the rebels, Kamara’s village was used to hearing that the rebels were on their way and they would regularly abandon their homes to find safety in the forest. In fact, they became so accustomed to leaving their homes for the forest that they had bags of food at the ready for any sudden rebel appearance (Kamara 22). One especially bad threat forced them to leave and travel to a neighboring village. Coming home from this village is when she was attacked. Beah’s village consistently heard rumors of the war and the rebel’s acts of violence but they believed them to be empty threats until refugees began traveling through their town searching for safety. Beah was on his way home with his brother Junior from visiting his mother when he heard gunshots and rumors that the rebels had attacked the mines, where his father worked. He stayed with his friends and brother but never saw rebels again until a week or so later when he was driven from his home into the forest (Beah 7-25). The way they were affected by the war was also different.
Kamara and Beah were both affected by the war but in different ranges of severity relating to the time span. One could argue that they were both affected severely but Kamara was affected incredibly severely for how briefly she...