“Escape to Last Man Peak” by Jean D’Costa was a novel I read when I was in first form at St. Jago High School. I was riveted, captivated and enthralled by the adventure related in this work of fiction. So much did this novel leave a mark on me that even today years old I still remember the story. In our present situation, I see a lot of similarities between what happened in the book and the crisis that we face today:
The book chronicles the adventures of ten orphans, who lost their caretaker Miss Brown (Matron), to a deadly pneumonia virus (referred to as the “sickness”). After the pneumonia outbreak, the country was plunged into a state of emergency, as the disease raged through the country claiming many lives… the children began to plan their escape.
I am sure that there are many who would gladly abandon the chaos and uncertainties of their present situation to escape to a place they felt was safer and more hopeful. However, it was not easy for these children. They faced many perils, many dangerous adults who tried to use them for their own gain. Yet, they persevered and made it to the safe haven of Last Man Peak. But along the way they were almost kidnapped, shot at and had to outsmart a notorious gang in one of the towns they journeyed through. They also met persons without whose help, they could not have made it. Persons who opened their homes and fed them and gave their some sound advice. In all of the many exciting encounters they children embodied the spirit of resilience and hope. Never being deterred by the many obstacles they faced they pushed on until they reached their destination.
That story of escape and resilience in the face of great obstacles is one I have carried with me in my own journey. Our journey in this life is not just physical, but also mental and spiritual and though we may take different routes we all must take these journeys. Once these children reached Last Man Peak, the physical journey ended for them but the work had just began. In the course of things now we need to claim our own journey and be ready to work ten times harder than we ever did to secure the peace we seek. We must embrace the truth that making our journey will be difficult but necessary. Those children never deviated from their course and were never defeated by their challenges, and we must be the same.