Archive - December 8, 2013

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Review of Mark Wentling's novel Africa's Embrace
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Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65) Makes You An Offer You Can't Refuse

Review of Mark Wentling's novel Africa's Embrace

Africa’s Embrace Mark Wentling (Honduras, 1967-69; Togo, 1970-73; PC Staff, Togo, Gabon, & Niger, 1973-77) A Peace Corps Writers Book, $16.78 (paperback); $14.34 (Kindle) 348 pages 2013 Reviewed by Jack Allison, Malawi, 1967-69) What an engaging gem of a novel!  The jacket cover sums up the book nicely:  “Although Africa’s Embrace is literary fiction, the novel is, in actuality, a thinly-veiled autobiographical account of the author’s three years of working in an African village back in the 1970s.” Apparently the author, Mark Wentling, took an oath not to reveal parts of the story for 40 years, and he honored that promise.  The novel is a three-year adventure story of how a young chap from Kansas adapted to life in remote West Africa. The protagonist, David, is renamed “Bobovovi” by the village elders; after he is “transported” magically down a mountain “on a moonbeam,” he is thereafter viewed and treated differently by . . .

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Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65) Makes You An Offer You Can't Refuse

• Bhutan: Going to the Dogs Trek and Festival Be assured, this new 2014 trip is not all trek. Between our arrival in Bhutan on March 29 and departure on April 12, there is a total of 6 days on a moderate mountain trek (highest elevation is something around 13,500 feet, over and down in one day). the trek is scheduled for early in the trip, in Tashigang District, in the far Northeast corner of the country. The rest of the trip is an eco-tour of Bhutan, through the hills and mountains on the “Royal Road” from east Bhutan west to the capital, Thimphu, and ending at Paro (the airport town). It includes a drive through some amazing forests, high and low; a brief visit to beautiful Bumthang and Punakha valleys, sight-seeing in Thimphu, a day-long hiking excursion to “The Tiger’s Nest” — the amazing cliffside Taktsang Monastery (near Paro), . . .

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