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IN THE LATE 1960s, in a college anthropology class, John Ashford was introduced to the San people, also known as the Kalahari Bushmen. Their peaceful way of life and John’s childhood memories of listening to field recordings of chants by indigenous cultures resulted in a fascination with these people.
Years later, in the 1990s, he and his wife Gen find themselves in Botswana as Peace Corps Volunteers and middle-aged adventurers. Toward the end of their service in the Peace Corps and restless about returning to the States, John discovers he is eager to resolve questions about the mysterious Bushmen. A newspaper article about an elderly white man named Freddy Morris who has lived with the Bushmen for over 70 years sparks his curiosity. John persuades Gen to set out into the vast Kalahari Desert to find Freddy. Encounters with locals and African wildlife weave in and out of their journey. A prominent activist on behalf of the Bushmen speaks with them and John finds himself receiving a whirlwind education about the life of the Kalahari Bushmen in the modern world.
A COLLECTION OF STORIES from Hersch’s life of service, Time Passages examines the reasons for the Peace Corps’ success, juxtaposing that success with the Vietnam debacle. He promotes the need for international American engagement without imposition — working always with the consent and organization of those who need help.
Change, Hersch argues, must be homegrown, whether if develops within a community or in the spirit of a young, idealistic man finding his true identity.
by Andrew Tadross (Ethiopia 2011–13) and Abraham Teklu
Peace Corps Writers
THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO AMHARIC is the most informative grammar and vocabulary guide on the market, yet it is simple and user friendly. This book contains everything you need to begin interacting with people in Ethiopia — a mountainous and ancient country of almost with a population of approximately 100 million. It is the perfect resource for visitors to the country — or for Ethiopia diaspora wishing to retain their beautiful language of Amharic.
SHE HADN’T SEEN IT COMING. Her new Chilean husband changed his mind, or, rather, the military coup changed it. Instead of their relocating to her native California as planned, he now wanted to give his country a chance. That was over four decades ago. Raised surrounded by the lush landscape of Marin County, Suzanne Adam hadn’t expected to settle in Santiago, a city of over five million people, where she faced a series of daunting challenges: food shortages, a military dictatorship, heartbroken parents, maids and machismo. After a visit back home, she returned to Chile with a California redwood seedling in her pocket, and together they would push down their roots into that distant soil, where she discovered the truth in Wallace Stegner’s statement: “Whatever landscape a child is exposed to early on, that will be the sort of gauze through which he or she will see the world afterwards.”
by Mark Wentling (Honduras 1967-69, Togo, 1970-73
Peace Corps Writers
January 15, 2015
Fascinated by a mysterious novella, aspiring journalist, Robin Fletcher, is determined to discover more about the man described in the book…a man known only as JB. His quest leads him from the small town of Gemini, Kansas to a small, disadvantaged country in Africa.
Thousands of miles from Kansas, in the rural village of Ataku, half-caste chief, Letivi, grapples with his village’s problems. The villagers’ main source of income, subsistence cocoa farming, cannot compete with global competition. Young people are leaving the village, and the village’s only store is under the control of a foreigner.
Letivi also has personal problems. Wifeless and childless, his ability to understand the family struggles in his village is being questioned. His supernaturally sensitive mother is dying, a tragedy coinciding with the death of the enormous baobab tree into which Letivi’s father disappeared years ago.
As Letivi and the villagers plan the development of a cocoa processing plant, Fletcher traces JB to Ataku, prompting a spontaneous trip to Africa with Molly, a ravishing but erratic woman with family ties to the elusive JB. When Letivi, Molly and Robin meet, events are set in motion that change their lives and Ataku forever.
Lily of Peru is a powerful love thriller in the tradition of Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms and Ken Follett’s Lie Down with Lions.”
— Diane Capri, New York Times bestselling author of The Hunt for Jack Reacher thrillers
Markus goes to war-torn Peru for one reason: to take home the woman he’s loved since his Peace Corps days — Marisa with the long dark hair and sparkling blue eyes. But when he arrives in Lima, he’s confronted by a general with a subpoena, agents with guns, and the startling accusation that she’s a key figure in one of the most bizarre terrorist movements in the world — and they want his help in bringing her to justice.
His refusal to cooperate makes him a fugitive as well, and he’s soon on the run, desperate to get her out of Peru. Is she the Marisa of his dreams, or is she the bomb-throwing terrorist on her wanted posters? The truth lies somewhere down the road, and nothing is going to stop Markus from finding it — not the soldiers who dog his every step, not the terrorists who think he’s on their side, and not the hostile natives and witches who chase him through the eastern jungles.