Excerpt # 4 from High Risk/High Gain: Africa

Page 255: The sick circus of training behind us, we would go to Africa. But we couldn’t have been more disaffected, more fragmented into our basic globules of personality; and if wave after wave of new Volunteers followed us over there, and gave us the big hello, we would certainly hello in return – but tied to that fellow as participants in a great movement to revolutionize the quality of American life, well, don’t be silly.

Each of us would fall in love with Africa, bits and pieces of that bedeviled continent, and make friends, small friendships in our own way, one or two, a handful, except JZ, who would make hundreds, thousands, who would conquer a town, riding maverick over the laterite roads on her blue Honda, this blonde giant of a white girl, crazy and loving and finally at peace, momentarily at peace, in a great sprawl of a village the name of which nobody can pronounce.

The following year J would arrive into the fiery heat of the West African dry season, and Saltonstall would inform me, friendly and considerate, that I was in violation of a Peace Corps regulation about importing women from abroad, and say, regretfully, that while he would do whatever he could to help me stay in Africa, he would have to ask for my resignation.


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