Sometimes, as a reporter, you get to stand back and simply observe twists of fate. I had that opportunity last March when two of the Lost Boys of Sudan visited Huntington Beach as part of the HB Reads program. That year's selection, "They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky," was the memoir of three of the war-torn country's refugees, and two of them, cousins Benson Deng and Benjamin Ajak, made a presentation at Huntington Beach High School and attended a party at former Mayor Ralph Bauer's home in Huntington Harbour.
It doesn't take a careful reading of "They Poured Fire" to realize how unlikely that event was. In the book, the Lost Boys — and their minder, Judy Bernstein, who accompanied them to Surf City — describe horrors that sound barely conceivable in Orange County, from walking for days without food to dodging murderous government militias. Through courage, guile and plenty of luck, the authors ended up on a plane to the United States in 2001.