Brooklyn, NY to Bocaiúva, Brazil: A Peace Corps Love Story
Franklin D. Rothman (Brazil 1967–69)
(Peace Corps memoir)
Peace Corps Writers
Reviewed by Almaz Zewdie Sullivan (Ethiopia 1996–98)
Franklin D. Rothman’s book, Brooklyn, NY to Bocaiúva, Brazil: A Peace Corps Love Story, brings back a lot of memories. From the start, any Peace Corps Volunteer will relate to aspects of his story.
Frank’s chance encounter with Lena, who is Brazilian, at the theater brings back positive memories of how open we tend to be as PCVs and travelers in general. He and Lena meet, they click and immediately the couple begins the exciting challenge of finding commonalities and building a relationship. Despite the differences in their upbringing, it is inspiring to read a story of how a love can flourish. It is refreshing to see the level of commitment and the positive energy on both sides.
This book is a story that many people can relate to on some level. One thing I appreciated a great deal is that they each have an exceptionally close relationships with their respective families making their decision to migrate first to the US and then back to Brazil — that much more bittersweet. As in many relationships, there is a rollercoaster ride inherent in the coupling of two people in love.
Reviewer Almaz Zewdie Sullivan, was an education Volunteer in Aleta Wendo, Ethiopia from 1996 to 1998. She now lives in Belgium with her husband and two daughters.