Archive - May 18, 2016

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Review — BREATHING THE SAME AIR by Gerry Christmas (Thailand, Western Samoa)

Review — BREATHING THE SAME AIR by Gerry Christmas (Thailand, Western Samoa)

  Breathing the Same Air: A Peace Corps Romance Gerry Christmas (Thailand 1973–76; Western Samoa 1976–78) Lulu April 2015 366 pages $22.95 (paperback), $8.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by James Jouppi (Thailand 1971–73) • FOR HIS INTRODUCTION, Gerry Christmas uses an eighteen page “Peace Corps Termination Report” dated April 16, 1976. The body of his memoir consists of sixty-nine letters — he calls them “Epistles” — written after his three-year Thailand Peace Corps tour was complete. While these Epistles, at times, are very “newsy,” they also express, sometimes in intimate detail, his feelings about his girlfriend Aied, and, in more general terms, his evolving philosophies about true love between American men and “nice” Thai women. He wrote the first five Epistles while preparing for another Peace Corps tour of duty, this time in Western Samoa, and these were sent to people he’d known in Thailand. Thirty-five more were sent from Western Samoa, mostly to . . .

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