Cuyahoga River

Cuyahoga River
Cuyahoga River in the Valley

Friday, October 19, 2012

Harnessing the Wind

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is an inspiring story of William Kamkwamba, a boy with no education, reading lots of books in his village library in Malawi and learning how to make windmills. He used discarded motor parts, junkyard refuse, whatever he could hoard in his room that he thought might be helpful, while in search of a dream to bring light to a village that went to sleep at 7PM when the sun went down. They lost hours.

The famine in his land and his family’s struggles, all of Africa’s struggles, were captured in the book, and it opened my eyes to how a country can literally be without food and how it can be controlled by only a few people and how powerless people can feel when the land fails to yield a crop. Entire lives are ruined, time cannot be captured again, a young boy loses years. In this case, he missed 4-5 years and then went to school when he was a young adult. He was one of the lucky ones—he survived while thousands of people, who foraged for what little food they could while the light went out of their eyes, died. He not only survived, but he eventually was admitted to a boarding school so he could study, his sense of possibility still strong, and that’s part of what makes the story so good

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