Botswana

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Review: MEETING THE MANTIS by John Ashford (Botswana)
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John Ashford (Botswana) publishes MEETING THE MANTIS
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Christopher Conlon (Botswana 1988-90) On Top Ten List For Best Horror Fiction by American Library Association
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Summer Books From Two Fine RPCV Writers
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Eileen Flanagan (Botswana 1984-86) Interview in Chestnut Hill Local
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The Ballroom
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The Ballroom

Review: MEETING THE MANTIS by John Ashford (Botswana)

  Meeting the Mantis: Searching for a Man in the Desert and Finding the Kalahari Bushmen by John Ashford (Botswana 1990–92) Peace Corps Writers August 2015 216 pages $13.00 (paperback), $4.00 (Kindle)   Reviewed by Julie R. Dargis (Morocco 1984-87) • “Follow the lightening,” the first people of the Kalahari said. At the end of the proverbial rainbow in Western culture, lies water, herds of wild animals, and life in the desert. For years, John Ashford fantasized about what it would be like to live the life of a Bushman. After years of contemplation, the photograph of Freddy Morris that John Ashford had once glimpsed in his hometown library, came to life. By the time the author met him, Freddy Morris had clocked nearly 90 years straddling two cultures. Before he set out on his journey, Ashford could lay claim to a half-life of Freddy’s experiences, the most relevant months boiled . . .

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John Ashford (Botswana) publishes MEETING THE MANTIS

John Ashford was a library director at Seattle Community College for almost twenty years when he decided he needed a change of scenery, a change of activity, and a dose of another culture. In preparation he obtained a certification as a teacher of English as a Second Language. Then, both he and his wife Genevieve ended their careers and went to Botswana in 1990 with the Peace Corps as teachers. John spent his two years as a lecturer in library studies at Tonota College of Education. Facing the end of their Peace Corps service in Botswana, the Ashfords began making plans for travel with the purpose of learning more about the San, an indigenous people of Southern Africa — also known as the Kalahari Bushmen. Years earlier, while still in college, John had been introduced to the Kalahari Bushmen in an anthropology class and had retained a fascination with them. . . .

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Christopher Conlon (Botswana 1988-90) On Top Ten List For Best Horror Fiction by American Library Association

Booklist is a book-review magazine that has been published by the American Library Association for more than 100 years, and is widely viewed as offering the most reliable reviews to help libraries decide what to buy and to help library patrons and students decide what to read, view, or listen to. It comprises two print magazines, an extensive website and database, e-newsletters, webinars, and other resources that support librarians in collection development and readers’ advisory. HORROR FICTION This list of the best horror fiction reviewed between May 15, 2014, and May 1, 2015, covers the gamut, from an old-fashioned horror novel, tasting of blood and dust, to a zombie plague (what would a top 10 list be without one?) to a grisly, darkly comedic road trip. Savaging the Dark. By Christopher Conlon. 2014. Evil Jester, $11.99 (9780615936772). (Starred Review.) “If there’s a single author working in the horror genre who . . .

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Summer Books From Two Fine RPCV Writers

Karl Luntta (Botswana 1978-80) A swimming pool in the Kalahari Desert, the ice skates of a boy in a wheelchair, and a midnight train ride in the cool African night form the backdrop of the eight diverse stories in Swimming. Some of the stories take place in Africa, others in the United States, but in all of them, the characters confront cultural and racial differences, both historically and in the present. In “A Virgin Twice,” an American teaching in Botswana struggles to understand a village’s response to a violent assault. In “Jeff Call Beth,” a white American father attempts to connect with the daughter he left behind in Africa. And in the title story, “Swimming,” a Danish expatriate dying of cancer decides to build an Olympic-sized swimming pool in the Kalahari Desert. All of these characters are clinging to emotional survival in a complex world, confronted by a moment or element . . .

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Eileen Flanagan (Botswana 1984-86) Interview in Chestnut Hill Local

Spiritual crisis recorded in Hiller’s acclaimed new book Eileen Flanagan, a member of Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting for the past 16 years, recounts how she dealt with a mid-life crisis of the spirit in her third book, Renewable: One Woman’s Search for Simplicity, Faithfulness and Hope, which was released March 3 by She Writes Press Publishers. The article appeared in the Chestnut Hill Local, a weekly newspaper serving Chestnut, in Northwest Philadelphia, PA and the surrounding communities. It was written by Len Lear. At the age of 49, a 16-year member of Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting, Eileen Flanagan, had an agonizing feeling that she wasn’t living up to her potential – or her youthful ideals. A former Peace Corps volunteer who had once loved the simplicity of living in a mud hut in Botswana, southern Africa, she now had too many e-mails in her inbox and a basement full of . . .

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The Ballroom

by Christopher Conlon (Botswana 1988-90) This poem won the 1994 Moritz Thomsen Award for Best Short Work about the Peace Corps Experience. • Southern Africa, Kalahari Desert She is the perfect image of a rag doll I saw when I was a child, in a trash can, dirty, ripped abandoned: here in the Kalahari is that same doll, maybe five, eyes huge, legs white with desert dust. Ke Kopa madi, sir, ke kopa madi. Money: I shake my head no, no madi: try to move on. But she stares at me, suddenly transfixed. No longer begging. Her eyes wider than before. My sunglasses: I crouch down, she approaches me, nose to nose, tattered, filthy, she stares at me, at herself. Then her hand moves to her chin and she says Oh, in a tiny, surprised voice. She rubs away the dried spittle there. Then she turns and, whitened heels kicking . . .

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The Ballroom

The 1994 recipient of the Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award presented by PEACE CORPS WRITERS for the best short description of life in the Peace Corps. • The Ballroom by Christopher Conlon (Botswana 1988-90) Southern Africa, Kalahari Desert She is the perfect image of a rag doll I saw when I was a child, in a trash can, dirty, ripped abandoned: here in the Kalahari is that same doll, maybe five, eyes huge, legs white with desert dust. Ke Kopa madi, sir, ke kopa madi. Money: I shake my head no, no madi: try to move on. But she stares at me, suddenly transfixed. No longer begging. Her eyes wider than before. My sunglasses: I crouch down, she approaches me, nose to nose, tattered, filthy, she stares at me, at herself. Then her hand moves to her chin and she says Oh, in a tiny, surprised voice. She rubs . . .

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