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First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria: How a Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and a Third World Adventure Changed My Life Hardcover – April 14, 2009

3.9 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

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More from First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria

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Arua neighbors gather for John and Eve's farewell party
CARE's headquarters in Arua, Uganda
Eve, John, and Sierra going on safari in Kenya
Eve, John, and Sierra on safari at the Nile River in Uganda
Typical northwest Ugandan houses



From Booklist

College graduate Eve is looking for a meaningful endeavor and settles on the Peace Corps. Though she’s not sure a life without creature comforts is for her, she is certain of one thing: John, the Peace Corps recruiter, is the guy for her. The couple faces a two-year separation when Eve receives a placement in Ecuador. Reluctantly, Eve leaves John and heads to South America where, after a time, she finds her niche reuniting lost children with their families—until a coworker’s rape brings up traumatic memories for her and she’s sent back home. Though her stint in the Peace Corps is over, a future with John means a life less ordinary, and soon after their marriage he accepts a job with CARE in Uganda. Once there, Eve finds the people welcoming but the lack of amenities—the power is turned on for only three hours at night—and the persistent insect population daunting. With an appealing, down-to-earth voice, Brown-Waite chronicles her adventures abroad in an accessible, humorous tone sure to appeal to armchair travelers. --Kristine Huntley
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 305 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; 1st edition (April 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767929357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767929356
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,479,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I had high hopes for this book as a fun and informative read. What I got was a whiny, annoying run-on narrative that left me shaking my head in disappointment. I found it very insulting that the author felt it necessary to dedicate so much wordspace to the fact that her oh-so-sensitive nose could hardly stand the fact that she found most if not all Ugandans too "smelly" for her and that their "BO" made life so difficult for her. Poor baby. She even found it necessary to say this was the first thing she smelled getting off the plane in Uganda. I'm sure they would be thrilled to hear this glowing assessment of their culture from her and that she thinks of their country as one big latrine. And speaking of overusing wordspace, this book could have been ten pages shorter (and better off for it) if she would have left out all the minute details about her two cats, which added absolutely nothing to the story. I found myself yelling at the pages "who cares about the cats,move on!!" Her insults about the clothing choices of Ugandan women came off trite and childish. And a word about her anxiety attacks that got her discharged from the Peace Corps herself after one year - I'm not totally knocking it, because I personally have been there and know how awful they can be, however, to say you are envious of a woman who has a brain tumor and wishing you had that issue instead of panic attacks, that's pretty harsh and unbelievable in my opinion. And I do have to agree with another reviewer who said "how convenient that her panic attacks suddenly ended after she got sent home from Peace Corps." It did appear that Eve just wanted to get home to her boyfriend and make him her husband ASAP.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A funny thing happens at Eve Brown's interview for the Peace Corps - she falls in love with John, her recruiter. And after her time in Ecuador, she comes home and marries him. Of course, she never dreamed of the unlikely direction her life will take with him! Soon after their marriage he gets a job with CARE and is assigned to Uganda!

And that's where the book really gets interesting. Uganda is certainly not the honeymoon capitol in the world now and it sure wasn't then. Electricity 3 hours a day (if they were lucky), no telephone, rebel bombings around the corner are just a few of the things they encounter. Shopping for food in an open air market takes some skill. Hint: you're better off to take the beef (its unwrapped, of course) with flies all over it and there's a very good reason for that.

Along with all this,she goes through a very difficult pregnancy. Just getting the diagnosis was an achievement.

There are funny parts (she has been compared in reviews to Erma Bombeck but I think Uganda would have tested even Erma's humor) such as her efforts to get a package before the Post Office closed. Let me tell you, it wasn't easy.

And there are frightening parts such as when the police officer who was guarding their house went berserk and threatened them and their dinner party guests with an AK-47!

Eve Brown-Waite has a great website with pictures. She is definitely a person worth reading about. I hope she is writing a book about their next posting which was to be Uzbekistan.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The promotional blurb for this book promises that it will make readers laugh, and while there are definitely funny sections I didn't laugh out loud. I did, however, tear up at the end, when the author describes leaving the village in northern Uganda where she, her husband, and eventually their baby, had spent three years working for CARE. (The Africa assignment followed a year-long stint in Ecuador for the Peace Corps.)

The power of this memoir is its apparent emotional authenticity and the effortless yet deeply felt language through which Eve Brown-Waite tells her story. By the time I had read through the book's 300 or so pages I shared a bit of her attachment to Uganda and the people she met there. What's more, I could perfectly understand the decision of the author and her husband to remain "in country" for an extended term of service, even though Uganda offered plenty of hardships, especially for Brown-Waite when she was pregnant with her first child. Not only was she ill with bacterial dysentery much of the time, but she also contracted malaria; hence the book's title.

Near the end of her narrative, the author writes that, like malaria, Uganda will remain in her blood for the rest of her life, and you firmly believe her. This is an absorbing story about an idealistic young couple that wanted to make the world a better place. Not so remarkable, except that these two actually went off and did it.

Don't miss First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria. And please do make a contribution to fight that disease, as the author suggests. She lists several good organizations to which you can donate in the Author's Note at the beginning of the book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is in the same vein as Maarten Troost's "Sex Lives of Cannibals" and "Getting Stoned with Savages." The book follows Eve from her post-college Peace Corp experience in South America, to Uganda with her husband and eventually baby via CARE.

To me, it just didn't live up the standards of Troost's books. I never really felt like I understood what day to day living was like there. People and situations seem to pop in and out throughout the book with the sense that they've been there all along but you haven't been hearing about them. For example, we didn't get a sense of what the wildlife around them was like until about 150 pages in, and even then it's only mentioned once, there's a whole chapter on bringing the cats to Uganda from the US and then they're only mentioned a couple more times throughout the book, and at the end when she's saying goodbye to everyone there were several people whose names I knew I'd seen but I couldn't remember exactly who they were, what role they'd played in her life, and why she was so distraught over leaving them. Now I'm not saying I'd want to read 100+ pages on housecats in Uganda, but a little bit of flow and continuity would have been nice. Sometimes it just felt like she forgot that we couldn't see through her eyes and know what was going on from day to day. I just never quite felt immersed in the experience. It always felt like I was listening to someone TELL me about what had happened, rather than being able to picture it myself.

This was a perfectly fun book with some definite laugh out loud moments. But like I said, I read Troost's books first, and his just feel more effortlessly informative, immersive, and funny.
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