Rajeev Goyal (Nepal 2000-02) has written, The Springs of Namje. It is being published by Beacon Press this coming September. Rajeev says the book “took me seven months to write and it spans personal experiences over the last ten years working in rural Nepal, initially as a Peace Corps Volunteer.” The first part of the book is about how he built a two-stage water pumping project in Namje, despite an escalating Maoist war, through the ingenuity of a village carpenter with a ninth grade education. He writes about his twenty visits back to the village while a law student at NYU, and how the water project transformed the community in complex ways none of them expected, and what lessons were learned from that.
The second part of the book details his work with (and dealing with!) the NPCA, campaigning in Washington and across the U.S. He writes about driving around the country, meeting RPCVs and trying (unsuccessfully) to get Congress to enlarge the number of PCVs in the agency. He compares these worlds (Nepal and the U.S.) and the politics of 21st century Nepal and the U.S., and the caste systems of both countries.
The last part of the book examines why he thinks the Peace Corps still matters and how it needs to change, starting with HQ itself in Washington, D.C.
Peter Hessler (China 1996-98) wrote the forward to the book. Last year Peter also wrote a profile of Rajeev’s work in Nepal that was published in The New Yorker.
At the moment Rajeev doesn’t have a website for The Springs of Namje, but there is a link to the small village NGO, Learning Grounds, that he created to do agriculture and education projects in Nepal: learninggrounds.org. Recently Rajeev posted new photos of an agricultural plot he is building in Namje, his Peace Corps site, which was recently named by CNN as one of the 12 best “unheard of” places in the world.
Check out the Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Springs-Namje-Ten-Year-Villages/dp/0807001759
You can buy the book now and be the first RPCV on your block to have a copy!