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Fiesta of Sunset: The Peace Corps, Guatemala and a Search for Truth Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse.com (February 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145027224X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1450272247
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 6 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,919,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I would highly recommend this book to anyone considering serving abroad.
Richard Maddox
Taylor Dibbert has done the Peace Corps and prospective volunteers a great service by telling his story in such an honest and open way.
jmarple
The authors humility and honesty shine as you are taken through his journey of self discovery.
mg2944

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Peter on February 27, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Then this is a great place to start. I was lucky enough to share many of Taylor's experiences with him in Guatemala, but have also been involved in development work for extended periods in Africa, and travelled widely. What makes this work different to so many personal accounts of development work I have read is its sheer honesty. I would love to write memoirs of some of my experiences but the fact is I lack the courage to bare my soul so completely and directly as Taylor manages to in this book.

For anyone who is thinking about doing Peace Corps, or indeed volunteering overseas or travelling in developing countries, this book gives a great account of the realities. There are many sources where you can find the 'glamorous' side - how great it is to endure the hardships and to help people - but this book truly gives you an insight into the emotions you will experience, both good and bad.

I think this book is also important for people inside the development community, and those considering pursuing that line of work. Taylor manages to tie in the dual aspects of someone who is interested and well educated in the larger scale of international relations/history with first hand experience of working at the very bottom of the ladder - as an entry-level development worker involved with small scale projects within the communities he was living. It's that collision of someone well read in the theory of international development with the realities on living at the sharp end of the implementation, that resonated so vividly with my first experiences of field work, and provides an insightful backdrop to the running commentary of his day to day life.

When I read this book for the first time I was personally proud of my former colleague for producing such an honest, complete and reflective account of his Peace Corp service. I would encourage anybody who is interested in the whole story of work and life in grass roots development to read this book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By JK on March 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Taylor Dibbert has kindly shared with us a thoughtful and highly entertaining account of his Peace Corps experience in Guatemala. Ranging from the hilarious to the disparaging to the deeply personal and spanning the entirety of his service, the vignettes unfold in real time so that we are privy to all of the excitement, anxieties, frustrations, successes and honest reflections as they occur and that constitute Taylor's "Fiesta of Sunset." In full disclosure, I was a fellow volunteer of Dibbert and we remain friends to this day, but I recommend this book for anybody interested in the Peace Corps, Guatemala or the nuanced world of development work in general. What's more, the text bristles with Dibbert's personality, so while on one page you get inquiries into the injustices of poverty or the history of American foreign policy, on the next page you might get tales of literary love affairs or elegiac praise for the creator of instant noodles! Truly unique and a pleasure to read. Bravo!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By MCCambar on July 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
I never did the Peace Corps, even though I thought I wanted to a few times. I would think about how old I would be at the end of my tenure and the idea would quickly vanish. For three days last week I was in Nebaj, Guatemala working as a Peace Corps volunteer, following Mr. Dibbert through breathtaking views of the high mountains of the Ixil Triangle, heart-wrenching medical exams, the Peace Corps bureaucracy, and stacks of tortillas. "Fiesta of Sunset" took me there and I'm grateful for what I saw.

Dibbert delivers a taste of the Peace Corps experience with a hearty helping of Guatemalan culture and history. This book is a beautiful, at times hilarious read that I highly recommend.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By VirtuP on February 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
An excellent book to discover what being a Peace corps volunteer means if you are not too familiar with it. A wonderful work to review what it really means if you've been part of it.
Overall, it is a fair and very beautiful account of life, struggle but, above all, learning. A must read if you believe that change is possible and how to make it possible through the Peace Corps.Beautifully written and sincerity on every single page.Fiesta of Sunset: The Peace Corps, Guatemala and a Search for Truth
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andrés on March 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." - Sřren Kierkegaard

It's easy to write an autobiographical memoir with the benefit of hindsight in one's own life, explaining to the reader what something "meant at the time," or hinting at important themes that will "become important later." But Taylor Dibbert does none of that. Fiesta of Sunset is a raw account of Dibbert's everyday struggles, reflections, anxieties, embarrassments, and successes during his time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala. Dibbert allows readers to experience the journey as he originally did, with a sense of unknowing, a lack of context, and constant apprehension fueled by rumors about US bureaucracy and the realities of Guatemalan culture. Fiesta is a great read for anyone looking to find out about life abroad as a development worker, and also for those who are looking to relive their own personal journeys in life. Dibbert's experiences are his own, but the lessons he learns amongst friends and colleagues strike a chord for anyone who has ever experienced personal growth by succeeding in an unfamiliar setting.
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