Conquering the Odds: The Journey of a Shepherd Girl

Conquering the Odds: The Journey of a Shepherd Girl

by Habibo Haji, Joseph Culhane

Paperback(New Edition)

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Conquering the Odds, Journey of a Shepherd Girl is the amazing story of a young girl, Habibo, who grew up in the primitive village of Balcad, Somalia. Habibo's life is one of difficulty and hardship, survival at best! Yet, because of unyielding determination, she has succeeded in life. Her successes, however, have not been without emotional strain and scars.

Given up by her mother at the young age of six months to live with her grandmother and three uncles in a remote, primitive village in south central Somalia, she slept in a hut built by her grandmother which was little more than woven rugs draped over an igloo style structure made from tree branches tied together; the dirt floor she slept on was home to many cock roaches and beetles coming out only at night.

As a toddler, while her grandmother grazed the sheep and goats in the grasslands, Habibo was left to stay in the hut by herself. Unfortunately, this is precisely when she was taken advantage of, molested by neighbor boys from the age of three to five. By the time she turned five, her grandmother taught her how to graze the animals by herself, which she did each day, seven days per week in the grasslands of Somalia fending off jackals by day and hyenas by night. By the age of eleven, she was grazing her grandmother's cattle by herself as a nomad for months on end in a male dominated role having to fend for herself, sometimes successfully sometimes not, from the young men herding their own herds of cattle and camels.

Habibo lived through, not only the attacks of crocodiles in the Shebelle river next to her village, but the attacks of guerillas during the breakout of civil war and the disintegration of her country into its current state of chaos. Sleeping in the forest at night with the other females of the village and herding the animals during the daytime, she survived the murder and rape which went on around her, much of which she personally witnessed.

At fifteen years old, providence brought Habibo to the largest refugee camp in the world - Dadaab located in western Kenya. Built to hold 90,000, it had swollen to 150,000 by the time she arrived there; it is now 460,000 and growing by the day. In Dadaab for three years, she helped her mother care for her younger brother and three sisters while living in their makeshift tent. Fearing for her life at night from marauders, rapists, thieves and murderers, she also witnessed the severe malnutrition and death of those around her, especially the very young and the very old.

Selected by lottery to come to America, she came by herself, barely more than a teenager, with no relatives or friends, unable to speak the language and unfamiliar with western culture. Having learned the language, working, getting married and graduating from nursing school, she is now a registered nurse at one of the finest medical facilities in the world, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

An amazing woman, not without scars and plenty of tears, she has not only survived, but thrived throughout her life. Her inner strength is an example and encouragement to all people, men and women, young and old alike. A single mother, her devotion to her three children as well as her relentless pursuit of education will surely bring more success to her life. This is her story. Through it, her wisdom, courage, strength and determination of spirit shine through for all to see.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780615768830
Publisher: Shepherd Group
Publication date: 01/14/2013
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 262
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.55(d)

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