Gabon

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BALLET ORPHANS by Terez Mertes Rose (Gabon)
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The Volunteer Who Found Albert Schweitzer in Gabon — Eric Madeen (Gabon)
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16 New books by Peace Corps writers — May and June, 2022
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Review — A DANCER’S GUIDE TO AFRICA by Terez Mertes Rose (Gabon)
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3 Flash Stories inspired by the Peace Corps experience
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Review — Glimpses through the Forest by Jason Gray (Gabon 2002-04)
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Talking with Jason Gray (Gabon 2002-04) about Glimpses through the Forest
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Peace Corps Writers Publishes Jason Gray’s Glimpses through the Forest

BALLET ORPHANS by Terez Mertes Rose (Gabon)

  Ballet Orphans: A Prequel (Ballet Theatre Chronicles: Book 3) by Terez Mertes Rose (Gabon 1985-87) Classical Girl Press January 2021 375 pages $12.99 (Paperback), $2.99 (Kindle)   Terez writes: I am the author of Off Balance and Outside the Limelight ( 2015, 2016), A Dancer’s Guide to Africa (2018) and Ballet Orphans (Jan 2021). A former Peace Corps volunteer and ballet dancer, my writing has appeared in numerous publications, including the Crab Orchard Review, Women Who Eat (Seal Press), A Woman’s Europe (Travelers’ Tales), Literary Mama, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the San Jose Mercury News.  I review ballet performances for Bachtrack.com and blog about ballet and classical music at The Classical Girl. I make my home in the Santa Cruz Mountains with my husband and son. I love humor, hiking, an engrossing book, and a nice glass of red.”      

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The Volunteer Who Found Albert Schweitzer in Gabon — Eric Madeen (Gabon)

The materials for this Profile were drawn largely from an article in Peace Corps Worldwide by Eric Madeen in which he recalled tracking down Dr. Albert Schweitzer at his hospital in Gabon.   by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963-65)   In 1981, Eric Madeen joined some 60 other would-be Peace Corps Volunteers in Gabon for training in TEFL, fisheries, agriculture and construction projects. During a stretch of French language training, he made several trips to the nearby Schweitzer Hospital to gather information about its founder for an article to be published in his home town newspaper. He gave the subsequent article to a friend who was leaving the country, but alas, it didn’t make it home and he has since regretted not posting it properly himself. Eric’s PC training took place at a high school in Gabon’s capital of Lambarene that was located atop a hill. After French classes on Saturdays, . . .

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16 New books by Peace Corps writers — May and June, 2022

  To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com — CLICK on the book cover, the bold book title, or the publishing format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance from your purchase that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards. We include a brief description for each of the books listed here in hopes of encouraging readers  to order a book and/or  to VOLUNTEER TO REVIEW IT.  See a book you’d like to review for Peace Corps Worldwide? Send a note to Marian at marian@haleybeil.com, and she will send you a copy along with a few instructions. In addition to the books listed below, I have on my shelf a number of other books whose authors would love for you to review. Go to Books Available for Review to see what is on that shelf. Please, please join in our Third Goal . . .

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Review — A DANCER’S GUIDE TO AFRICA by Terez Mertes Rose (Gabon)

  A Dancer’s Guide to Africa by Terez Mertes Rose (Gabon 1985-87) Classical Girl Press 375 pages September 2018 $12.99 (paperback). $0.99 (Kindle)   Reviewed by Bonnie Lee Black (Gabon 1996-98) • It is March 1988 and Fiona Garvey, 22, of Omaha, Nebraska, has just received her letter of acceptance into the Peace Corps. Fiona is a tall, lithe, recent college graduate and ballet dancer, who is anxious to run away from home – and from a failed romance — to seek “true adventure, with soul.” So she gladly accepts the challenge of teaching English as a Peace Corps Volunteer for two years in the tiny, equatorial country of Gabon, Central Africa. Thus begins Terez Mertes Rose’s newly published novel, A Dancer’s Guide to Africa, which perfectly evokes the Gabon she and I knew when we both served as PCVs (at different times, at different ages, in different towns, and . . .

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3 Flash Stories inspired by the Peace Corps experience

by Jon Anderson (Gabon/Mali 1974–77) •  A Trip to Okandja Uneven plywood table. Sticky plastic tablecloth. Big bottles of Meuse. We get the cold ones. Since there is no electricity, “cold” means bottles that have been put into a bucket of water. They are maybe one degree cooler than the ones coming from the crate. We try hard to believe it makes a difference. The storm lamp on the table seems to throw more shadows than light. For a while there is no one else but me and Steve. Congolese music playing on the radio. The one armed, blue eyed bartender dozes. Our truck is parked in the darkness outside. Julienne comes in and asks about her bra. Then she asks for us to buy her a beer. But from where the truck is parked there is a sharp, bright, loud scream. Followed by “What the fuck? What the goddamn fuck? . . .

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Review — Glimpses through the Forest by Jason Gray (Gabon 2002-04)

Glimpses through the Forest: Memories of Gabon by Jason Gray (Gabon 2002-04) A Peace Corps Writers Book $14.95 288 pages 2013 Reviewed by Susi Wyss (Central African Republic 1990-92) Within the first few pages of his book, Glimpses through the Forest: Memories of Gabon, Jason Gray establishes at least one of the intended audiences for his book. “For any prospective Peace Corps Volunteers who might be reading this,” he writes, “I do feel that it is important to acknowledge that for all the excitement and frustrations of the actual work assignment, there are countless days and nights spent getting to know one’s neighbors, community, and new friends.” Reading that sentence, I couldn’t help wonder how successful the book was going to be in describing the Peace Corps experience to a would-be volunteer. Moreover, would there be other potential audiences for Gray’s memoir? As a Peace Corps Volunteer, Gray worked on . . .

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Talking with Jason Gray (Gabon 2002-04) about Glimpses through the Forest

Jason, tell us a little about yourself, pre-Peace Corps. Well, I grew up on the windswept plains and in the high mountains of Montana, in a town on the Missouri River called Great Falls. Most weekends, my family would seek out some outdoor adventure, whether it be fishing, or hiking, or skiing, or mending fences for the horses we raised. I developed the travel bug early on as well, and have enjoyed visiting many natural areas in the United States and abroad. My formative education years were spent studying French, ecology, and conservation biology, which lead me to study abroad programs in Paris, France and in Kenya. Upon graduation from college, I knew I had to go back to Africa and I jumped at the chance to serve in the Peace Corps. Gabon proved such a remarkable place that I stayed on after my Peace Corps service with WWF International, . . .

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Peace Corps Writers Publishes Jason Gray’s Glimpses through the Forest

Peace Corps Writers — the publishing arm of Peace Corps Worldwide — is happy to announce the publication of Glimpses through the Forest: Memories of Gabon by Jason Gray (Gabon 2002–04). Situated in Central Africa, the nation of Gabon is a vibrant and mysterious place full of rich history, diverse culture, and stunning biodiversity. In the midst of the African rainforest, a Peace Corps Volunteer from Montana is thrust into a new life of adventure and discovery. From close encounters with forest elephants to classroom teaching challenges, this retelling of one man’s experiences takes readers on an extraordinary journey through daily life, cultural events, and ongoing conservation efforts, and shares his love affair with a country that will forever own a piece of his heart. This new book by Jason Gray (Gabon 2002–04) leaves readers with an impression of having shared in his experiences. Gray’s underlying reverence for Gabon and . . .

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