I was born and raised in Liberia in West Africa. My mother is Sierra Leonean, and my father's Liberian. I grew up at a time when there was a lot of civil unrest in both countries, so when something would happen in Liberia, we'd go to Sierra Leone, and when something would happen in Sierra Leone, we'd go back to Liberia. We moved to save our lives.
Sierra felt full of hope and confidence in God. She knew who she was. And she knew Whose she was. Whatever mysterious plan God had for her life, it would be an interesting one. As Christy had said earlier, God writes a different story for each person. Sierra decided hers might not be a bestseller or even a thriller. It certainly wasn't a romance. But it was turning into a fine mystery. And she could live with that.
Robin Jones Gunn
Bennie's corner of Brooklyn looked different every time Sierra passed through it. She stopped at the corner of Washington Avenue and St. John's Place to take in the changing scenery. A half block from where she stood, she'd skinned her knee playing hopscotch while juiced up on iceys and sugar drinks. Bennie's brother, Vincent, had been killed by the cops on the adjacent corner, just a few steps from his own front door. Now her best friend's neighborhood felt like another planet. The place Sierra and Bennie used to get their hair done had turned into a fancy bakery of some kind, and yes, the coffee was good, but you couldn't get a cup for less than three dollars. Plus, every time Sierra went in, the hip, young white kid behind the counter gave her either the don't-cause-no-trouble look or the I-want-to-adopt-you look. The Takeover (as Bennie had dubbed it once) had been going on for a few years now, but tonight its pace seemed to have accelerated tenfold. Sierra couldn't find a single brown face on the block. It looked like a late-night frat party had just let out; she was getting funny stares from all sides-as if she was the out-of-place one, she thought. And then, sadly, she realized she was the out-of-place one.
Daniel Jose Older
There's more to being an environmentalist than occasionally signing an online petition and mailing your check to the Sierra Club. Really the most effective environmental actions you can take have to do with crafting your home and surroundings, your workplace decisions and your investment habits.
There is something universal in the theme of a man trying to save his family in the midst of the most terrible circumstances. It is not limited to Sierra Leone. This story could apply to any number of places where ordinary people have been caught up in political events beyond their control.
Whenever I speak at the United Nations, UNICEF or elsewhere to raise awareness of the continual and rampant recruitment of children in wars around the world, I come to realize that I still do not fully understand how I could have possibly survived the civil war in my country, Sierra Leone.
I guess what I'd like to say is that people in Sierra Leone are human beings, just like Americans. They want to send their kids to school; they want to live in peace; they want to have their basic rights of life just like everyone else. I think we all owe an obligation to support people who want to do that.
Another glorious Sierra day in which one seems to be dissolved and absorbed and sent pulsing onward we know not where. Life seems neither long nor short, and we take no more heed to save time or make haste than do the trees and stars. This is true freedom, a good practical sort of immortality.
For many years, Sierra had compared the Holy Spirit to the wind, as it said the the Bible, noting that it was always there, no matter how faint the breeze. The wind went where it wanted to go, and its path was easy to detect because it moved objects and people. But no one had ever seen the wind.
Robin Jones Gunn
I was one of those children forced into fighting at the age of 13, in my country Sierra Leone, a war that claimed the lives of my mother, father and two brothers. I know too well the emotional, psychological and physical burden that comes with being exposed to violence as a child or at any age for that matter.
The first 600 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, before you get into the Sierra Nevada mountain range, is heavy on desert. One of the things I carry with me in the desert is an umbrella. People think that's insane. It has a shiny top to it, so it looks totally ridiculous, but the difference can be 20 degrees.
I grew up in Sierra Leone, in a small village where as a boy my imagination was sparked by the oral tradition of storytelling. At a very young age I learned the importance of telling stories - I saw that stories are the most potent way of seeing anything we encounter in our lives, and how we can deal with living.
A Texas upbringing - and living now in Brooklyn, too - have surely helped my appreciation for open spaces and skies, but beyond that, it's not easy to find words for what it feels like to be up in the Rockies or out on the Great Basin - such silences and spaces! - or to be heading up into the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
As our company grew and we began growing our family stateside - with heritages ranging from Liberian and Sierra Leonean to Irish, Indian, Swedish, Filipino, German, and beyond - our different cultural influences and walks of life helped us even better understand the criticality of an inclusive point of view.
You could say I was born into entrepreneurship. My grandmother, who was from Sierra Leone, was left to raise four children in the 1940s in a rural village in West Africa after becoming a young widow. To support her family, she made natural skin and hair care preparations and sold them primarily to missionaries and villagers.
Ishmael Beah was born and spent his childhood in Sierra Leone as that sad but beautiful West African country was ravaged by a civil war that left some 50,000 dead between 1991 and 2002. He was a child soldier for a while, then, through extraordinary circumstances, was set free of that life.
All the world lies warm in one heart, yet the Sierra seems to get more light than other mountains. The weather is mostly sunshine embellished with magnificent storms, and nearly everything shines from base to summit - the rocks, streams, lakes, glaciers, irised falls, and the forests of silver fir and silver pine.
People say what distinguishes us from the animals is that we think. Well, then why the hell don't we extend some compassion to those under tremendous duress? There's this whole idea that you work really hard so you can deaden your soul to the universe and enjoy yourself only in ways the Sierra Club will let you. But what about enjoying yourself by getting into the whole melee of poverty and racism and violence and murder and drug addiction? Get in there, roll up your sleeves, and do something! Nobody does it.
Jimmy Santiago Baca
I received so many hate letters when I breast-fed a starving baby in Africa. I was in Sierra Leone in 2009 and I was weaning my child at that time - she was not there with me. There was a hungry baby who was crying because his mother had no milk, and I thought, 'Why throw away my milk if I can give it to a baby who needs it?'
Technology causes problems as well as solves problems. Nobody has figured out a way to ensure that, as of tomorrow, technology won't create problems. Technology simply means increased power, which is why we have the global problems we face today." (Interview, Sierra Magazine, May/June 2005)
I miss my family and friends from Cali a lot. I also miss late-night business hours, hiking in the Sierra Nevada, and house boating in Gold Country. But in Ohio, housing is cheaper, everything is green year-round, and we get glorious thunderstorms. In California, I lived in a place that was infested with black widow spiders.
So Merrill Lynch has launched its first campaign in years to advertise the accomplishments of its investment banking business. The ads feature things like Merrill's recapitalization of Sierra Pacific. I guess including "helping Enron achieve its earnings goals in 1999" might be a little awkward given that Merrill Lynch bankers are currently on trial in Houston for that "accomplishment."
I had so much fun touring the Grand Canyon area with the Sierra Club. I love to get outdoors and enjoy nature. We went kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, and even rode mules. To do all these things in one of the most stunning natural areas in the world just made it more amazing. I don't believe that anyone can see the Grand Canyon area for themselves and not know that we have to do everything we can to protect it for future generations.
He is likely to remain the one historian of the Sierra; he imported into his view the imagination of the poet and the reverence of the worshipper.... William Kent, during Muir's life, paid him a rare tribute in giving to the nation a park of redwoods with the understanding that it should be named Muir Woods. But the nation owes him more. His work was not sectional but for the whole people, for he was the real father of the forest reservations of America.
Robert Underwood Johnson
Many signs point to the fact that the youth of the Third World will no longer tolerate living in circumstances that give them no hope for the future. From the young boys I met in the demobilization camps in Sierra Leone to the suicide bombers of Palestine and Chechnya, to the young terrorists who fly planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, we can no longer afford to ignore them. We have to take concrete steps to remove the causes of their rage, or we have to be prepared to suffer the consequences.
A wonderful thing happens when you give up on hope, which is that you realize you never needed it in the first place. You realize that giving up on hope doesn't kill you, nor did it make you less effective. In fact it made you more effective, because you ceased relying on someone or something else to solve your problems - you ceased hoping your problems somehow get solved, through the magical assistance of God, the Great Mother, the Sierra Club, valiant tree-sitters, brave salmon, or even the Earth itself - and you just began doing what's necessary to solve your problems yourself.
Why are some countries able, despite their very real and serious problems, to press ahead along the road to reconciliation, recovery, and redevelopment while others cannot? These are critical questions for Africa, and their answers are complex and not always clear. Leadership is crucial, of course. Kagame was a strong leader-decisive, focused, disciplined, and honest-and he remains so today. I believe that sometimes people's characters are molded by their environment. Angola, like Liberia, like Sierra Leone, is resource-rich, a natural blessing that sometimes has the sad effect of diminishing the human drive for self-sufficiency, the ability and determination to maximize that which one has. Kagame had nothing. He grew up in a refugee camp, equipped with only his own strength of will and determination to create a better life for himself and his countrymen.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
The two friends went on and on toward the sierra, at times keeping the highway, at times. deviating from it. Whenever they passed through a town or a hamlet, the slow peal of bells tolling the death-knell announced to our hero that the Angel of Death was not losing his time; that his arm reached to every part of the world, and that, though Gil felt it now weighing upon his breast like a mountain of ice, none the less did it scatter ruin and desolation over the entire surface of the earth. As they went, the Angel of Death related many strange and wonderful things to his protege. The foe of history, he took pleasure in scoffing at its pretended utility, in disproof of which he narrated many facts as they had actually occurred, and not as they are recorded on monuments and in chronicles. The abysses of the past opened before the entranced imagination of Gil Gil, revealing to him facts of transcendent importance concerning the fate of man and of empires, disclosing to him the great mystery of the origin of life and the no less great and terrible mystery of the end to which we, wrongly called mortals, are progressing, and causing him, finally, to comprehend, by the light of this sublime philosophy, the laws which preside at the evolution of cosmic matter, and its various manifestations in those ephemeral and transitory forms which are called minerals, plants, animals, stars, constellations, nebula, and worlds. ("The Friend Of The Death")
Pedro Antonio de Alarcon
Each scenario is about fifteen million years into the future, and each assumes that the Pacific Plate will continue to move northwest at about 2.0 inches per year relative to the interior of North America. In scenario 1, the San Andreas fault is the sole locus of motion. Baja California and coastal California shear away from the rest of the continent to form a long, skinny island. A short ferry ride across the San Andreas Strait connects LA to San Francisco. In scenario 2, all of California west of the Sierra Nevada, together with Baja California, shears away to the northwest. The Gulf of California becomes the Reno Sea, which divides California from Nevada. The scene is reminiscent of how the Arabian Peninsula split from Africa to open the Red Sea some 5 million years ago. In scenario 3, central Nevada splits open through the middle of the Basin and Range province. The widening Gulf of Nevada divides the continent form a large island composed of Washington, Oregon, California, Baja California, and western Nevada. The scene is akin to Madagascar's origin when it split form eastern Africa to open the Mozambique Channel.