<----(Aren't you grateful these Insurgents aren't walking down your street?) When I envisioned my blog last Spring, I didn't really know what would become of it. Now, on my 41st entry, I realize that there is a lot of American pride enshrouding many entries. This week, my American feelings have been steered toward gratitude for a mostly peaceful country with a well established democracy. My favorite lunchtime activity during the school year is to go pick up The New York Times and read it while munching on my highly predictable and tasty lunch. This week I have been acutely affected by the fighting going on in Congo and Somalia. Both of those African nations are without a respectable government currently, and both are being subjugated by rebel leaders. In Congo, it's the Tutsi rebels led by Laurent Nkunda who are leading an uncontested march through the country. The Congolese army is virtually helpless, and hundreds of thousands of these poor African people are forced to leave their already dilapadated homes and travel to shabby shacks set up by the U.N.- hungry, cold, and wet. Along with the fighting comes rape and pillage. It is just so terrible. Fortunatley, Nkunda agreed to a cease-fire this week with the Congolese governemnt. In Somalia, it's Islamist Insurgents that are taking advantage of the anarchy so prevalent in the coastal country. This last week the insurgents took over Merka, Somalia, without even firing a shot because the national army had fled the night before. This particular group has been dubbed terrorists by the Bush Administration who helped knock them out of power in 2006. But they are back at it, stronger than before. However, there is a twist to the story. According to some Somalians, the Islamic rule administered by these insurgents is significantly better than having virtually no government at all. At least with a rebel government there is order, unity, and greater peace than when competing groups are fighting for power. Again, there is constant warfare among our African brothers and it just tears me apart. I am grateful beyond comprehension to have been born in America with a democratic government and safety. I have food, shelter, clothing and fuel, which is four more things than those poor Africans have. Please, never forget how lucky we are to live in America. If you are interested in the problems going on in Africa, here are two well written and informative articles on Congo and Somalia.