Category Archives: Stories about people

About people with extraordinary stories

BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT : MADAM C.J. WALKER


From my friend Leon’s blog. The life of an interesting woman.

THE LEON KWASI CHRONICLES

Sarah Breedlove (December 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919), known as Madam C. J. Walker, was an African American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a political and social activist.

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Eulogized as the first female self-made millionaire in America,] she became one of the wealthiest African American women in the country. Walker made her fortune by developing and marketing a line of beauty and hair products for black women through Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, the successful business she founded. Walker was also known for her philanthropy and activism. She made financial donations to numerous organizations and became a patron of the arts. Villa Lewaro, Walker’s lavish estate in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York, served as a social gathering place for the African American community. The Madame Walker Theatre Center opened in Indianapolis in 1927 to continue her legacy. Both of these properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

NOTES FROM WIKIPEDIA.

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BAREFOOT LIBRARIAN


I was doing some studies on stilt houses in Papua New Guinea and came across this very sweet story; an expatriate’s point of view of life in Papua New Guinea. I’m sure this ‘wantok’ (friend) does not mind me re-blogging his story about Karina. I have in the past posted historical images of Tubuserea Village, just outside the capital, Port Moresby.

Tim Bruwer Blog

I first met Karina Parina when I started my new job with Papua New Guinea’s National Library Service in Port Moresby in 1980. She was a shy, softly spoken 21-year old girl from the village of Tubusereia, about an hour’s drive eastwards along the coast from Port Moresby.

My job at the National Library was to arrange training programs for the Papua New Guinean library staff, to enable them to fill the positions that were occupied at the time by sixteen expatriate librarians. As my job involved working with staff across the organisation on an ongoing basis, my first challenge was to learn everyone’s names. I clearly remember my first introduction to Karina because her lovely rhyming name was impossible to forget.

Like most of the other Papua New Guinean staff members she went about the library barefoot. A few of the others wore rubber thongs. In the tropical heat…

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The End of a Creative Storyteller – Farewell Barbara


Dear Readers of Mondays Finish the Story. I am very sad to re-post the news that Barbara who started and ran the Mondays Finish the Story fiction challenge has passed away last Sunday. I saw the message from the late Barbara’s husband when I visited her page this morning. I wanted to share the news with those of you that enjoy my contribution to this fun 100-150 story-telling exercise – created by Barbara W. Beacham. She also supplied all the pictures.

You have helped sharpened my story-telling skills. I will miss the challenge and your wonderful comments Barbara.

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My Life in The Foothills has Passed Away
November 24, 2015 by babso2you

It is with the a sad heart and mind that I let all of the readers of Life In The Foothills know that Barbara who began this a few years back has succumbed to her illnesses and passed away last Sunday. Writing this blog as she dealt with her health issues gave her tremendous pleasure and as she told me many times a purpose to continue and fight the cancer that finally took her.

I shall miss her tremendously as she was my wife, my best friend, and my life’s love. Those that did correspond with her please know you helped her with her fight and added to the pleasure she received as she writing her stories.

To all of you thank you.

I myself do not have the same strength as Barb did at this time. I am in that emotional spot at this time that wants me to run from reality yet it wants me to confront it as well. I know many of you have experienced this as well.

As this will be the final post I ask that no-one reply to this as I will not be monitoring any reply to have it posted. So rather than reply please simply send out a thought or prayer on Barb’s behalf and that will serve a better purpose than a typed message.

God Bless her and keep her safe.

Unforgetful Faces


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There are some faces you cannot forget. I had been going through and editing pictures from Papua New Guinea and I found many faces with many untold stories. Some faces are hard to forget. Here is one of the unforgetful faces from the Irugl Mother Of Life Orphanage run by the Simbu Children’s Foundation (SCF). More on founder Jimmy Drekore’s work and the Irugl story on this blog in the future.

Oliver’s Sandwich


Short story

Flash Fiction Challenge for Mondays Finish the Story with Barbara Beacham.

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Picture by Barbara Beacham.

Mondays Finish the Story is a flash fiction challenge by Barbara W. Beacham. The story requires 100-150 words (excluding the first sentence). The challenge runs from Monday to Sunday. Here is my short story for this week’s prompt based on the first sentence below and the picture. (This story is set in Australia where we like to use the term ‘mate’ meaning friend).

Oliver’s Sandwich –  JK.Leahy©

“I see absolutely everything.” Oliver said and stopped. Drawn in by a large black shimmering eye, he placed two fat little fingers up his nose and tried to push them as far as he could.

“What are you doing mate?”

“Trying to find cheese”, the three-year-old replied, ignoring his mother.

“Cheese! Where are you going to put it?”

“On my sandwich.”

“Get your fingers out!”

Oliver pulled his fingers out of his nose and poked the large eye on the tree-trunk. The eye was soft. He pressed harder. Something gave and sucked him into the tree.

“Maaa ummmm!”

Then, minutes went by.

“Oliver! Oliver! Wake up!”

The little redhead stirred. He eyed his mother and sister Georgia.

“You fell and hit your head on the tree mate”, his mother said trying to hug him. Pushing her hands away, Oliver said, “my cheese sandwich?”

“Oh Oliver…” his mother said.

“Never a dull moment”, Georgia agreed.

……..

(Note: Oliver is my friend Celise’s three-year-old son. He has fiery hair and large blue eyes and is an inquisitive and mischievous little boy. Oliver also has something to say about everything).

Released at last: “You’re Not Alone” an athology in aid of MacMillan Cancer Care


Fantastic Christoph! Great post.

writerchristophfischer

11705837_967531943267360_280957472_oThe wait is over:

“You’re Not Alone” an anthology in aid of MacMillan Cancer Care has been released. A paperback version is also available! Get your copy now!

Twenty-seven writers from around the world, including myself have entered an assortment of short stories for your pleasure, show your support by liking the new page on Facebook and expressing an interest in buying the book.

You’ll find the book on your Amazon  via these links:
http://smarturl.it/YoureNotAloneAnth
http://bookshow.me/B00Y5RCOOE

You’ll find the Facebook page here: 

https://www.facebook.com/yourenotalone2015

And here is the fund, in loving memory of Pamela Mary Winton

https://macmillan.tributefunds.com/pamela-mary-winton

100% of the royalties earned or accrued in the purchase of this book, in all formats, will go to the Pamela Winton tribute fund, which is in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

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An anthology, themed on relationships, of more than 20 authors 

from around the world –  from urban fantasy to stories that bring tears to the…

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My Last Walk – Short Story.


This is my second entry into the short story category in PNG National Literary Awards. Some of you know this story. It has been cut down to 1000 word limit.   For more stories and entries into the competition, please visit the following links;

The Crocodile Prize

Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG Attitude

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Western Province, PNG.

My Last Walk  ©JK.Leahy

I felt his eyes piercing into my back as I struggled over the grassy hill. The air was tight and chilly so early in the morning.

“Walk faster!”

I needed my three-month-old baby Boni’s softness, and the laughter of his older siblings. I was exhausted and wished I could stop. A sudden breeze brushed over the tall grass. Shoosh. I shivered.

Usually, when we returned from the garden, Bomoga walked proudly ahead, carrying his prized spear with a small bilum strapped across his bare chest. The children and I fumbled behind him: me with a child on my shoulder, another in the bilum on my back together with our second bilum of food and pulling our eldest by the hand.

Today, I was in front. I wore my favourite red meri blouse. In haste, I had worn it inside out – its flimsy seams waved loosely.

We reached the top of Kasu Hill. I gasped for air.

“Hurry Up!”

My heart pumped. From the only hill in Domogu Village in the wallaby plains of the Western Province, pale yellow-green lowland laid before me. The grass had been burnt in patches to entrap wild game. The lowland was also known for Papuan black, a deadly snake.

I marched down the ridge, as ordered. Cold mud numbed my sore foot. We reached the place where the Ok Tedi Mining had caused hundreds of fish and plants to die along the riverbank. Usually, there were people here. But it was still early – no one was about as we passed.

My milk dripped down my blouse. Without bra, my breasts swung full and uncomfortable. It was feeding time for Boni. The rising sun cast faint shadows and the warm air caressed my face. We had crossed Domogu tribal land. Bomoga’s ancestors, nomads like mine, had decided to settle in this fertile land.

My eyes scanned the mountains that Ok Tedi had exploited. To the south, there was an airstrip where planes flew in weekly. Our village looked like a jewel, deep jade opal, festooned with glassy lakes of many sizes.

“Move!”

I stumbled forward.

We entered a forest. Strangely, the birds here were silent. I heard sorcerers came here for bush medicine and magic making. I searched for sunlight through the tree openings.

“Keep walking,” he hissed.

I had not looked once in Bomoga’s eyes. When his sweaty hands had touched me that morning, I thought he wanted sex, but instead he shook me roughly and ordered me out of the house. His shadow had loomed over me as I took Boni off my breast and put on my meri blouse and my rubber skirt. Boni nestled into his blanket, eyes still shut. He didn’t cry for more milk, thank God. My other children, Eka and Maria were asleep. I heard Bomoga pick up something in the house before closing the door behind us. He was quiet and cagey, which was not like him.

He was never a warm person, not even to his family members, though he was loud to his male friends. He liked sex that was rough and on demand. In any argument, a sudden punch to my face or stomach was a possibility. If the children screamed, he yelled at them. The beatings only worsened if he thought I challenged him. “No one will help you, because you are MY wife,” he said. I felt he was right and did not seek help, not even from his family or other villagers. Recently his best friend Tommy had returned from Port Moresby. I heard Bomogu now liked Tommy’s sister who was younger and prettier than me. He wanted her, I heard.

I stepped on a stump with my sore foot. The pain almost made me cry out. Two of my toes had broken when I fell in the last fight. We continued through the gloomy undergrowth into a flat area. Through an opening I saw sunlight sprinkling light of various colours onto leaves and moss. I saw a beautiful butterfly on a fern. Its brilliant blue wings and black outline set against the leafy greens. I felt a flash of hope.

We walked on and soon I could hear rapids and the forest thinned out as we reached a Y junction. At my feet a Papuan black, unaware, slithered quickly across my path.

“Turn to the river,” Bomoga commanded.

I turned towards the rapids. My throbbing foot distracted me and I was afraid to fall. The river frothed, full from recent rain. Watching water as it rushed away, a thought stirred my mind. Was he going to toss me into the river?

I imagined where my body would lay after death; my treasured red meri blouse, still inside out, clinging to my slim frame. Dragged ashore with a paddle shafted under the hem of my blouse, a trail would be imprinted on the sand on the silky Suki River banks. Villagers rushed to screaming children who discovered me. A woman bellowed my name, “Sulita!, Sulita!” But after hours in the muddy river, half-dressed and impaled by a black palm spear, I would no longer be Sulita.

“Stop!” he yelled.

I halted.

The ground looked easy to dig in places. I kept my face down. My feet were covered in mud and grass

“Turn around. Look at me!”

I turned and raised my eyes to the point of his most prized black palm spear.

With this spear Bomoga had speared the biggest pig, the fastest wallaby and driven the largest cull of deer. Many feared Bomoga because of his mastery with the weapon. My eyes shifted from the spear to my husband’s eyes for the first time that day. They were bulging and blood-rimmed. His nose flared and his sweat drenched eyebrows twitched. Ten long years and we still stared at each other like strangers.

He raised and pointed with the spear. “Where would you like to be buried?” he asked.

I dropped to my knees, closed my eyes and prayed.

 


This story is based on a true story set in Suki, Western Province. It is dedicated to the strong women and the survivors of domestic violence in Papua New Guinea and other Melanesian societies. 

 

 

ANZAC Centenary


Today ABC reported: Thousands of people have attended Anzac Day dawn services at Gallipoli and Villers-Bretonneux to mark exactly 100 years since Australian and New Zealand troops came ashore. Here is more on the history of ANZAC from a fellow blogger.

Thank you for sharing this post, Pacificparatrooper

Pacific Paratrooper

James Charles Martin (1901-1915), youngest Australian KIA at Gallipoli James Charles Martin (1901-1915), youngest Australian KIA at Gallipoli

Anzac Centenary

Between 2014 and 2018 Australia and New Zealand will commemorate the Anzac Centenary, marking 100 years since their  involvement in the First World War.

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The Anzac Centenary is a milestone of special significance to all Australians and New Zealanders.  The First World War helped define them as a people and as nations.

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During the Anzac Centenary they will remember not only the original ANZACs who served at Gallipoli and the Western Front, but commemorate more than a century of service by Australian and New Zealand servicemen and women. [And I hope other nations will as well.]

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The Anzac Centenary Program encompasses all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which they have been involved.   And to honour all those who have worn the uniforms.  The programs involved with the Centenary urge all to reflect on their military…

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Australian Aid Cuts Will Affect Four Continents


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World Vision photo.

Australian aid agencies have begun the first wave of cuts to overseas projects, as they start to feel the effects of the Government’s budget decreases to foreign aid. The cuts would heavily affect poverty-stricken children and youth  across the world.

Plan Australia and World Vision have settled on more than a dozen projects, worth around $6.5 million between them, after negotiations with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade over the foreign aid cuts announced in last December’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

The projects being axed are only the first instalment of what will be a $1 billion slice out of the foreign aid budget, affecting four continents.

World Vision estimates up to 1.31 million people will miss out on services affected by the cuts.

Projects include:

Senegal – Child Protection and Participation Project: $459,000
South Sudan – South Sudan Education Project: $966,000
Uganda – Urban Youth Livelihoods Project: $432,000
India – Child Protection Project: $700,000
India – Delhi HIV/Aid Mitigation Project phase two: $80,000
Jerusalem/West Bank/Gaza – North Gaza Community Resilience Project: $765,000
Pacific Timor-Leste – Clean water, gender-based violence eradication, health, education: $591,000
World Vision’s total cuts are valued at $5,574,012.

Read More on ABC News