Zambia

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Review — THE COLOR OF THE ELEPHANT by Christine Herbert (Zambia)
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Review — THE UNHEARD by Josh Swiller (Zambia)
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Review — A FEW MINOR ADJUSTMENTS by Cherie Kephart (Zambia)
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Review — A FEW MINOR ADJUSTMENTS by Cherie Kephart (Zambia)

Review — THE COLOR OF THE ELEPHANT by Christine Herbert (Zambia)

  The Color of the Elephant: Memoir of a Muzungu Christine  Herbert (Zambia 2004–06) GenZ Publishing January 2022 $15.99 (paperback), $5.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Rebecca M. Zornow (eSwatini 2011–13) • I visited the landlocked country of Zambia from the landlocked country of eSwatini, practically neighbors. As a Peace Corps Volunteer on leave, I wished for more than the cursory understanding of Zambian culture, even more than the quick mist of the thunderous Victoria Falls. But as a Volunteer from another country with much to see, I wouldn’t get that chance until reading Christine Herbert’s memoir, The Color of the Elephant. Christine arrives in Zambia in 2004 and quickly learns to eat nshima (cornmeal porridge) and wear citenge (sarong) but wonders throughout training if she’ll be enough to live up to the experience of two years making a difference in the remote countryside. On a trainee outing with an established Volunteer, Christine wonders, . . .

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Review — THE UNHEARD by Josh Swiller (Zambia)

  The Unheard: A Memoir of Deafness and Africa by Josh  Swiller (Zambia 1994–96) Henry Holt Paperback 2007 265 pages $18.59 (paperback), $11.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Christine Herbert (Zambia 2004–06) • I’ve read numerous memoirs by Peace Corps volunteers, and I can honestly say I’ve never read one as unabashedly gritty and truly eye-opening as this one. Unrelenting in its honesty, Josh Swiller’s narrative takes the reader on a tour of discovery: the life of a deaf Peace Corps volunteer serving in Africa. What can I say about the writing? In short, it is astounding. The narrative drifts between incisive prose, bite-size history lessons, quippy dialogue, sweeping poetry, locker room trash talk and back again with the nimbleness of a flying trapeze artist. Sometimes lilting like a lullaby, sometimes booming like a howler monkey, the words call you to experience his story with all your senses. Every scene is cinematic in . . .

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Review — A FEW MINOR ADJUSTMENTS by Cherie Kephart (Zambia)

  A Few Minor Adjustments: A Memoir of Healing Cherie  Kephart (Zambia 1994) Bazi Publishers, 2017 254 pages $15.95 (paperback), $24.95 (hardcover), $4.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Christine Herbert (Zambia 2004–06) • When the reader first meets the author, Cherie Kephart, we catch a brief glimpse into the life of a vibrant young woman, living independently, with a future full of possibilities. Then an unexpected and unwelcome visitor arrives: sudden and crippling pain. Slowly her health unravels, each new symptom more baffling than the last. She tries one therapy after another, each diagnosis from each new specialist at odds with the last. In an effort to trace the source of her trauma, the author takes the reader back to the days of her Peace Corps service, ten years earlier. As a member of the very first volunteer cohort to serve in Zambia, she and the Peace Corps/Zambia staff had a steep . . .

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Review — A FEW MINOR ADJUSTMENTS by Cherie Kephart (Zambia)

    A Few Minor Adjustments: A Memoir of Healing by Cherie  Kephart (Zambia 1994) Bazi Publishers September 2017 254 pages $15.95 (paperback), $24.95 (hard cover), $4.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by D.W. Jefferson (El Salvador 1974–76; Costa Rica 1976–77) • Cherie Kephart is the ultimate survivor. She lived through a brutal rape followed by a serious car accident while in college. Then survived both a nasty case of explosive diarrhea and possible malaria while a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia. Ten years after her Peace Corps experience she faced a myriad of severe symptoms which defied diagnosis. Through it all she keeps struggling gamely to find a treatment that will allow her to lead some semblance of a normal life and be a useful person in the world. The title, “A Few Minor Adjustments,” is ironic, borrowed from a Peace Corps pamphlet discussing the life style changes a Volunteer faces in their . . .

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