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Africa Lite ?: Boomers in Botswana Paperback – December 12, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse (December 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1468507036
  • ISBN-13: 978-1468507034
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,823,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Holliday on January 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
Christopher Doran's saga of the splendors and miseries of Peace Corps life in Botswana is a delightfully readable, frequently outrageous chronicle, written with humor, compassion and wisdom.

Thomas Holliday, author of "Falling Up: The Days and Nights of Carlisle Floyd" (Forthcoming in 2012 from Syracuse University Press)
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"Africa Lite ?" is a funny read, both funny ha-ha and funny peculiar. Fortunately, both aspects are clearly intentional and cleverly put together. The book is built around an easygoing and carefree treatment of serving in the Peace Corps, in circumstances that are sometimes challenging and sometimes downright funny (yes, both kinds).

Christopher Doran is very self-effacing in his book, telling little about the work he did. It's in there, but the real Peace Corps part of the story is sandwiched in between fanciful made-up tales and funny reactions to real news stories from all around the world. These take the form of bulletins and stories from a fictitious newspaper. The "Kalahari Khronicle" has its own made-up melodramas as a third layer of the story, overlapping the Peace Corps work and the goofy news commentary with the "newspaper" enduring constant threats of receivership, losing and seeking employees, and being shut down or sued for one reason or another.

The real "Peace Corps" part of the story included some pretty impressive work -- AIDS awareness and education, other serious healthcare work, mental health work and community service with youth and academic and law enforcement professionals, and even teaching at a medical school. Doran and his wife (referred to as "Kgosi" and "Kopo" respectively in the Setswana language) also established library programs, arranged for grants and equipment for libraries, and even set up a competition for teenagers to make educational videos.

The book is an engaging piece of work, and includes some telling observations on the culture of Botswana along with the Peace Corps memoir and its humorous overlays.

Bruce McDonald, author, A Breeze in Bulgaria
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By Richard Sitler on January 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Africa Lite? Boomers in Botswana" is delightful. Dr. Christopher M. Doran gives insightful and humorous commentary about his experiences as a volunteer in Botswana. Also under the guise of an editor of a fictional newspaper he imparts his sharp wit on comical news that somehow finds its way to his world in Africa, which ties in with how strange Peace Corps service can be as you are living in and experiencing a totally different culture and you find yourself questioning your own culture. Doran writes with a light touch that is refreshing when compared to the numerous Peace Corps memoirs that are more solemn. This light touch wielded by a doctor of psychiatry has some of the same dry and acerbic qualities of the comedian and actor who played Dr. Robert "Bob" Hartley on TV, Bob Newhart. As a returned Peace Corps Volunteer myself I can vouch that a healthy sense of humor is very helpful in surviving your service. Reading "Africa Lite?" I recognized many of the Peace Corps unique scenarios that Doran aptly describes. There are two reasons for this. One is that despite having served in a different country and culture there are many experiences to which all volunteers can relate. And in full disclosure, I am the photographer mentioned on page 141 who visited the Dorans as part of my photo documentary that is published as "Making Peace with the World, Photographs of Peace Corps Volunteers". Having spent time with Kgosi and Kopo, and having seen many of the sights and met some of the characters, I can vouch for the veracity of Doran's writings about Botswana and Peace Corps. As far as the news items from the Kalahari Kronicle, I admit, I've worked at newspapers with less integrity.
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By Heather Robinson on January 20, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What an inspiring,humorous, and interesting perspective on Peace Corps service in a fascinating country. Dr. Doran and his wife, like all of our Volunteers, came with a unique background to their service and managed to maintain positive attitudes despite struggles. Service with the Peace Corps often doesn't come with concrete results at the end of two years, but the capacity built and cultural exchange that Dr. Doran and his wife accomplished could arguably be said to be more valuable than a new structure built in their host village. This will be a great read for all future and former Volunteers, especially those in southern Africa, those working to address HIV/AIDS, or those over 50. As a staff member with Peace Corps during their service, we owe them great thanks for their contributions. Heather Robinson, Peace Corps Botswana Staff
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By Peg on August 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Kip Doran captures Botswana and the Peace Corps experience accurately, humorously, and effectively. As the director of the program at the time, I appreciated his insights and contributions, including his writing about the country and his experiences, his challenges, and the joys.
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