Malawi

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THE PLEASURE SEEKER by Robyn Michaels (Malawi)
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Jack Allison (Malawi) . . . song writer
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THE LENGTHENING SHADOW OF SLAVERY by John E. Fleming (Malawi)
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DARK STAR SAFARI by Paul Theroux (Malawi)
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New York Times “Literary Destinations” by Paul Theroux (Malawi)
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Julia King (Malawi) receives award
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The Transformative Power of Education | Jenna Mitchell (Malawi)
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Review | THE FALLEN by Edna G. Bay (Malawi)
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Paul Theroux on mass travel, British B&Bs and why flying is like ‘being at the dentist’
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Bob Poole — Recovery of Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park
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Review | DEEP SOUTH by Paul Theroux (Malawi)
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Review — GOD HOLDS YOU by Sarah S. Scherschligt (Malawi)
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Review — THE BAD ANGEL BROTHERS by Paul Theroux (Malawi)
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Review — THE WARM HEART OF AFRICA by Jack Allison (Malawi)
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Review — THE COLOR OF A LION’S EYE by Jane F. Bonin

THE PLEASURE SEEKER by Robyn Michaels (Malawi)

The Pleasure Seeker by Robyn Michaels (Malawi 1992) Self Published January 2024 326 pages $2.99 (Kindle); $14.95 (Paperback)   This is a coming-of-age story and involves real African history. Dayal Singh is brilliant, quirky, and has Asperger’s. Son of parents trafficked  to East Africa from India just before independence, he knows he’s Sikh, African, and calculus is the evidence of God. He becomes fascinated by a broken piano. and is offered a piano to buy, buys it and learns to play. Mentored by his older brothers, he follows them to Singapore to further his education, he then goes to Switzerland. He falls in love  with the granddaughter of the man who bought his father. She tells him that the situation is impossible, and that he must stay in school as long as his way is paid. His youth is fraught, being an other. In Switzerland, he is constantly proselytized to, which only defines for him . . .

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Jack Allison (Malawi) . . . song writer

  Dr. Jack Allison served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi 1967-69. His public health education was punctuated by many original songs and jingles which became quite popular with Malawians throughout the country. Jack has had a distinguished career in academic emergency medicine, with an emphasis on public health. He responded to the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010 by treating hundreds of quake victims. In February 2012 he volunteered in Kenya and Somalia where he provided both emergency care and public health education to hundreds of Somali refugees; then in October, he volunteered in Zambia where he helped to install 112 shallow water wells. Since 2017 Jack has been a senior consultant to the Fulbright Association’s WASH project in Malawi. Allison’s avocation is singing and songwriting. He has written over 120 songs and jingles, and recorded over 100 of those. Since 1967 he has raised $160,000 with his . . .

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THE LENGTHENING SHADOW OF SLAVERY by John E. Fleming (Malawi)

  Because Black students continue to face significant academic and financial challenges in their attempt to receive higher education in America, their home country, Dr. John Fleming felt that there was a pressing need to re-publish the 1976 edition of his book, The Lengthening Shadow of Slavery: A Historical Justification for Affirmative Action for Blacks in Higher Education with a new 2023 edition entitled The Lengthening Shadow of Slavery: Fifty-Year Reprise of the Historical Justification for Affirmative Action for African Americans in U.S. Higher Education. Dr. Fleming strongly felt that it was necessary to explore, yet again, why the U.S.’s own African-American students receive the worst educational outcomes at all levels of the American education pipeline while foreign students who major in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields at U.S. colleges and universities get the best education money can buy. On the face of it this is not an easy question to answer; but . . .

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DARK STAR SAFARI by Paul Theroux (Malawi)

    Dark Star Safari:  Overland from Cairo to Cape Town by Paul Theroux Friday, November 17, 2023 — Book Review     Two decades ago, the novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux took an overland trip through Africa, starting in Cairo, Egypt and ending in Cape Town, South Africa. This certainly isn’t the safest or the most comfortable means of experiencing the supposed “dark continent”, but it makes for some interesting experiences and insights. Keeping in mind that Theroux’s observations are just one point of view among many, his resulting book Dark Star provides a unique look at a region of the world that holds a permanent place off the beaten path. While Dark Star is an easy book to read, breaking it down into its individual elements is a good way to approach its merits and examine its flaws. The first element of importance is Theroux’s sense of place. Wherever he goes, . . .

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New York Times “Literary Destinations” by Paul Theroux (Malawi)

. New York Times by Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65) April 30, 2023   My father, like many passionate readers, was a literary pilgrim in his native Massachusetts, a state rich in destinations, hallowed by many of the greatest writers in the language. “Look, Paulie, this is the House of the Seven Gables — go on, count them!” What interested him — what interests me — was not a particular book but a literary intelligence, a Yankee sensibility enshrined in many local books. Boston does not, like Dublin, have a “Ulysses” — few cities do. The nearest novel to being essentially Bostonian might be Edwin O’Connor’s “The Last Hurrah”; its protagonist, Frank Skeffington, based on Boston’s flamboyant James Michael Curley, embodies Boston’s old political culture of blarney and bribery. Richard Henry Dana Jr. fascinated my father, not for writing about Boston but for his example as an admirable Yankee. After enduring the dangerous voyage . . .

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Julia King (Malawi) receives award

Gainesville Ohio City Schools names 2023 Philip Wright Award recipient The Times Published: Apr 18, 2023 Julia King (Malawi 1984-87), a special education teacher at Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy, an elementary school in Gainesville, was honored at Monday’s school board meeting with Gainesville City Schools’ 2023 Philip Wright Award. “I am humbled and honored to serve our community of deeply caring families and educators,” said King, a speech-language pathologist. The award is given annually to educators in the Pioneer RESA region, which covers Northeast Georgia. The award is given annually to educators who demonstrate a strong commitment to improving educational outcomes for students with disabilities. It is named after Philip Wright, an educator who created a legacy of service in the area of special education. Every year, each school district selects a recipient, and all of the winners are presented with their awards at a regional event. “I started as . . .

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The Transformative Power of Education | Jenna Mitchell (Malawi)

  Education can transform a life and the world. That statement drives Jenna Mitchler. She experienced it firsthand as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi and more recently in Tajikistan through the Fulbright Specialist Program. “I look for opportunities to learn about people who are different than myself — there’s so much value in diversity and difference,” she says. Mitchler joined the Peace Corps after earning her undergraduate degree — a major in English education with a minor in coaching — and taught English and HIV/AIDS education in Malawi in southeastern Africa. She also served as the president of northern Malawi’s Gender and Development Organization, which provides scholarships to girls to pay for secondary school fees. After her two years in the Peace Corps were up, Mitchler returned to the U.S. and began teaching high school English. However, some familiar strains kept playing in her ear. “While reflecting on my . . .

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Review | THE FALLEN by Edna G. Bay (Malawi)

The Fallen: A Novel Edna G. Bay (Malawi 1965-68) Peace Corps Writers December 2022 220 pages $9.50 (paperback) Reviewed by Eugénie de Rosier (Philippines 2006-08) • Edna G. Bay served in the Peace Corps in Malawi in the 1960s. She has published a handful of academic books about Africa, and “The Fallen” is her first novel. Naïve, 30-year-old American Anna Moretti knows little of her mother’s death, an accident in east Africa’s Malawi, where her parents were development workers with the Peace Corps. Her dad, silent about her mother and Malawi for three decades, has just died, after raising Anna alone in the U.S., and she receives her mother’s African diary from her grandfather. Still dissatisfied with unanswered questions about how and why mother died, Anna flies to Malawi to locate and interview her parents’ friends, and learns her dad was accused of his wife’s murder, and was to be tried . . .

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Paul Theroux on mass travel, British B&Bs and why flying is like ‘being at the dentist’

Sally Howard Wed, March 22, 2023      The democratisation of world travel has its downsides. Paul Theroux, that most celebrated of postwar travel writers, is often ­collared by readers who have read his landmark works – The Great Railway Bazaar, which recounts Theroux’s 1972 journey by rail from Great Britain to Japan, for example; or Riding the Iron Rooster, on his clattering passage through 1980s China to Tibet – and found his accounts at odds with their own experience of, say, a resort-­littered Kenyan coastline, or a ­modern-day ­Singapore awash with super-malls and 7-Elevens. “Readers will say to me, ‘Well, you know, I went there and it wasn’t like that’,” Theroux tells me from his home in Hawaii, where I’ve interrupted the venerable writer feeding his gaggle of pet geese. “What they forget,” he continues, “is that these books are his­torical artefacts. In the case of The Old Patagonian Express, I . . .

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Bob Poole — Recovery of Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park

January 26 at McClaren Hall, Flathead Valley Community College, Paul D. Wachholz College Center will bring Emmy-winning filmmaker Bob Poole to Kalispell, MT • BY MIKE KORDENBROCK January 21,2023 An elephant calf. Photo by Gina Poole   An upcoming “National Geographic Live” event at Flathead Valley Community College’s new Wachholz College Center will bring to Kalispell an award-winning filmmaker, with Montana ties, to discuss the story of a national park in Mozambique that has continued to rebound after a prolonged civil war that left the local wildlife population decimated. It’s been a long time since Bob Poole has been to the Flathead Valley’s stretch of northwest Montana, but for the cinematographer and National Geographic speaker, any visit to the state is a reminder of the early years of his career. Poole had an unusual upbringing for an American citizen, in that he grew up abroad. His youth was spent in . . .

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Review | DEEP SOUTH by Paul Theroux (Malawi)

  Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963–65) Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 485 pages $9.40 (Kindle), $34.74 (hard cover), $9.89 (paperback) Reviewed by Mark Walker (Guatemala 1971-73) • I’ve read and reviewed the last eight books by the “Dean of Travel Writing” — Paul Theroux.  I wrote my latest book, My Saddest Pleasures: 50 Years on the Road, in honor and appreciation of Theroux, and another travel writer, “who personally knew and was inspired by Moritz Thomsen and passed their enthusiasm on to me.” Thomsen wrote the Peace Corps experience classic,Living Poor: A Peace Corps Chronicle. Theroux’s book, The Tao of Travel, celebrates 50 years of travel writing and inspired my series, “The Yin & Yang of Travel.” Theroux is probably the most prolific of the Returned Peace Corps writers, with 33 works in fiction and 53 books overall. He describes his passion for long “road trips” as follows, “My experience of . . .

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Review — GOD HOLDS YOU by Sarah S. Scherschligt (Malawi)

  God Holds You by Sarah S. Scherschligt (Malawi 1996-98) Independently published October 2022 357 pages $17.99 (Paperback) Reviewed by Ben East (Malawi 1996-98) • Sarah S. Scherschligt is the Pastor of Peace Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Virginia. Originally from Minnesota, she lives near Washington, D.C. with her husband and two daughters. She studied at Valparaiso University, Yale Divinity School, and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. Prior to becoming a pastor, she served in the U.S. Peace Corps (Malawi 1996-98) and worked for Augsburg College’s Center for Global Education & had experience in both Minnesota and Namibia. She is an environmental activist and amateur potter. Her writing has appeared in The Christian Century, The Presbyterian Outlook, BoldCafe, and The Washington Post. God Holds You offers a chronicle of hope. As we entered the pandemic wilderness in March 2020, progressive Lutheran pastor Sarah Scherschligt began publishing daily reflections about adapting to the . . .

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Review — THE BAD ANGEL BROTHERS by Paul Theroux (Malawi)

  The Bad Angel Brothers by Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65)) ‎Mariner Books Publisher ‎352 pages September 2022 $14.99 (Kindle); $26.09 (Hardcover), $22.35 or 1 credit (Audiobook) Reviewed by Mark D. Walker (Guatemala 1971-73) • Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65) is probably the most prolific of the Returned Peace Corps writers, with 33 works in fiction and 53 books overall. As with his latest book, I wasn’t enthusiastic about reading it, as I prefer his nonfiction travel stories. But just as was the case reading the life of the aging surfer in Hawaii in Under the Wave of Waimae (2021), he does a stellar job developing the characters in this psychological thriller. This most recent book is a classic tale of a dysfunctional family. A younger brother’s rivalry with his older brother, Frank, a domineering brother and a well-known lawyer in their small community in Massachusetts. Frank also has a propensity to come up with . . .

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Review — THE WARM HEART OF AFRICA by Jack Allison (Malawi)

  The Warm Heart of Africa: An Outrageous Adventure of Love, Music, and Mishaps in Malawi Jack Allison (1966 – 69) Peace Corps Writers June 2020 224 pages $14.95 (paperback), $6.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by: Charles F. “Chic” Dambach (Colombia 1967-69) • Jack Allison is legendary in Peace Corps circles, and The Warm Heart of Africa is the engaging story of one of the most remarkable Peace Corps Volunteers ever. The narrative is a marvelous combination of frustration, success, humor, humanity, music, medicine, and culture. Allison served in Malawi from 1967 to 1969. Along the way he wrote and performed the number-one hit song in Malawi and Newsweek magazine reported that he was more popular in the country than the president. Unfortunately, that publicity angered the president who tried to deport him and shut down the entire Peace Corps program! Prior to Peace Corps service, Allison overcame an impoverished and dysfunctional . . .

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Review — THE COLOR OF A LION’S EYE by Jane F. Bonin

The Color of a Lion’s Eye: Memories of Africa by Jane Bonin (Staff: Malawi, Niger 1994–2000) Border Press 114 pages 2015 $15.00 (paperback) Reviewed by Peter Deekle (Iran 1968-70) • For many Peace Corps Volunteers, their first opportunity to live and work in a foreign culture begins with their service abroad. They often keep a daily journal to help them organize and process their encounters with their host country. Jane F. Bonin, having enjoyed a long academic career and subsequent U.S. government assignment in Washington, D.C. offers a different “first opportunity” with the unique perspective informed by her maturity and a scholar’s capacity for order and reflection. After several decades as a scholar, parent and spouse Jane Bonin is free of family and financial obligations to accept an administrative post in a country heretofore unknown to her. As Bonin observes in The Color of a Lion’s Eye, “Many of the Peace . . .

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