Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Miracle in the Andes

Alene has always talked to me about this book and I knew I would read it, I just wasn't sure when. We borrowed it from her sister April and I read it pretty quickly. The movie Alive was not based off this book (it was based off another book taken from stories of all 17 survivors) but this book is told from Nando's perspective.

The book is the account of one of the two rugby players that hiked out of the Andes to find help for him and his teammates. They spent 72 days in the Andes with nothing to eat and little to drink. One would think that being surrounded by snow would be a blessing, but after eating snow for a day or so, it has so many damaging things to your lips, mouth, and throat (blisters for one) and it keeps your body temp very cool, which is not a good thing. Melting it was also hard because it was always cold and they did not have anything to burn to make a fire.

I could not control my tears in so many parts. Nando Parrado has a way with words that really tug at your hearts and make you feel what he was feeling, or make you think that you would feel the same way in the situation he and the others were faced with.

Some of my favorite parts had to do with the discussion of religion and God. Most of the guys on the plane continued to talk about how they were spared their lives because of the grace of God, while Nando was the only one (at least most of the time) that actually lost family members (his mother and sister) in the crash, so he was very bitter and had a hard time believing in God at all. He also had many discussions with a teammate who was confined to a hammock because of broken legs. This teammate was a known Socialist and was against any sort of organized religion, but he was also very spiritual and talked constantly about God and how close he feels to God in that situation.

There are so many great examples in this story that would help with building a stronger family, or encouraging those around you to work together.

The only part that rubbed me the wrong way was Nando's post-crash life and how he kind of became a playboy because of all the attention he received. He seemed like a guy that was pretty much given everything he wanted in life (a life of privlige in private schooling, college, without having to work much), to this horrible crash (something I could never fathom myself making it through), then living life for a while as if he was "owed" it to have fun. He talks about this time in a negative manner though, so I guess it's easy for me to judge without being in his shoes. Like I said, it just rubbed me the wrong way. Nando is still someone I would consider a "hero" and I don't have a lot of those.

I highly recommend this book to anyone. It's a quick read and has so many great learning points about our life, how precious it is and about what's most important to us. It also talked about how close we all are to death and if we could just realize that, we would love our lives so much more.

As I was doing some additional research, I found this video done by ESPN's "Outside the lines'. It's long (about 10 minutes), but the end had me choked up.

Alene and I just bought the movie (Alive) and we will be watching it soon. I've seen it once before, but don't remember much from it at all. I'm excited to see it now.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this clip. It is amazing! Sure puts my small trials in perspective - I don't have much to complain about compared to so many others!!