Archive - January 23, 2013

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Talking With Leita Kaldi (Senegal 1993-96) about her new book In the Valley of Atibon
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Review of Leita Kaldi (Senegal 1993-96) Book on Haiti

Talking With Leita Kaldi (Senegal 1993-96) about her new book In the Valley of Atibon

LEITA KALDI (Senegal 1993-96) worked at the United Nations in New York, UNESCO in Paris, at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Harvard University. She then joined Peace Corps and went to Senegal and wrote a memoir about two years entitled, Roller Skating in the Desert. In 1997, she  became Administrator of Hospital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti and retired from the hospital in 2002. Leita has now written In the Valley of Atibon. It is her story of Haiti’s Artibonite Valley, where she went as a middle-aged white woman, and filled with good intentions had to deal with young revolutionaires and vagabonds who threatened her life, while also dealing with a hospital and community development program which she tried to manage. In Haiti Leita would delve into the mysteries of Voudou, and learns first-hand about the undercurrent of terror that drives rural Haitians. Also, she was inspired by Haitians . . .

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Review of Leita Kaldi (Senegal 1993-96) Book on Haiti

In the Valley of Atibon By Leita Kaldi (Senegal 1993-96) A Peace Corps Writers Book, $20 257 pages 2012 Reviewed by Barbara E. Joe (Honduras 2000-03) In 2010, Leita Kaldi’s memoir of her Peace Corps service in Senegal, Roller Skating in the Desert, came out. Now she is back again, writing about her subsequent years, 1997-2002, as administrator of Hospital Albert Schweitzer located in Haiti’s Eden-like Artibonite Valley.  It was founded by Larimer Mellon and his wife Gwen who chose to devote their portion of the Mellon family fortune to building a hospital there honoring Dr. Schweitzer’s work in Africa. Author Kaldi , who had served as a business development volunteer in Senegal, returned to the States only briefly before, at age 58, undertaking her new duties in Haiti. As with many former Peace Corps volunteers, overseas service had gotten into her blood. She exemplifies how Peace Corps can open . . .

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