A thousand sisters: my journey into the worst place on earth by Lisa J Shannon, Zainab Salbi

By Lisa J Shannon, Zainab Salbi

Lisa Shannon had what a few may name an excellent life—her personal company, a profitable fiancé, a safe domestic. Then at some point in 2005, presently after her father’s demise, an episode of Oprah replaced every thing. The exhibit approximately ladies within the Congo depicted atrocities too terrible to appreciate: thousands useless, girls gang-raped and tortured, childrens ravenous and death in surprising numbers. That day Lisa awakened to her dissatisfaction with the “good” existence and to her function as an activist and a sister.

She created a starting place known as Run for Congo ladies, with the target to elevate funds to sponsor 30 Congolese girls. What begun as a solo 30-mile run has now grown right into a nationwide association in reference to girls for girls foreign. Run for Congo girls holds fundraising runs in 4 international locations and ten states, and keeps to elevate funds and know-how. In A Thousand Sisters, Lisa stocks firsthand money owed of her reviews traveling the Congo, the ladies she’s helped, and the relationships she’s shaped. With compelling tales of why she is still dedicated to this reason, Lisa evokes her viewers to arrive out and support to boot, forming a sisterhood that transcends geographic boundaries.

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The rest will be displayed in bits and pieces. Some are split between three pink and green cloisonné mini-urns on my mother’s mantel. Some are in a “Granddaddy” Build-a-Bear made for my niece. Some will be scattered at the family cemetery, in a wheat field where my father spent his summers as a child. I abandon the math. This all seems a bit silly. And he was not a silly man. Dad was a government servant. His preference was for all things simple: pleated polyester pants, microwave dinners. His favorite things were blood-and-guts action movies and hours of philosophical conversation over morning coffee.

When I see him waiting with a cold bottle of water and a sandwich, I think, That’s love. My gait disintegrates to a crumpled, stiff shuffle back to the car. After a hard run like this, I collapse for the rest of the day, avoiding social functions if I can. If I can’t, I simply accept that forming complete sentences is not within my realm of possibility. Over months of training, my toenails fall off; some fall off twice. Bloody blisters, severe leg pain, and sores caused by chafing are daily companions.

My goal is to raise thirty-one sponsorships for Congolese women through Women for Women International, one sponsorship for every mile I run. I’m not sure I can do it. That’s why at first I keep it a secret. Everyday I hit the trail alone. Each week I go on the longest run of my life. I hire an ultrarunning coach and follow her training schedule to the letter. Ted drops me at the trailhead in the morning. While he works for hours, grocery shops, and does laundry, I pound miles of trail, getting smacked in the face with branches and spider webs.

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