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Living Poor: A Peace Corps Chronicle Paperback – May, 1990
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"Hilariously funny at times, grimly sad at others and elavened with perceptive insights into the ways of the people and with breathtaking descriptions of the Ecuadorian landscape."―St. Louis Post―Dispatch
Top Customer Reviews
I highly prize this book, and am so saddened that I will never again read another book from this man.
If you are interested in South America, the nature of Ex-patriotism, and living in a culture outside your own, this is one book to have in your library.
I think "Farm on the River of Emeralds" is a better literary work and reflects the development of Moritz as a writer as well as his enriched experience over time in Ecuador. This did not reduce my enjoyment and appreciation of "Living Poor". This is a book that reveals poverty as deeply and as powerfully as Rohinton Mistry's novel on India, "A Fine Balance".
Moritz is an excellent observer of people and writes of their appearance, mannerism, and background with portrait accuracy but also with humor and sensitivity. I remember a description of a woman in the village that was feared by all the families. She was a bruja, a witch that could cast spells and control people with her "brews of secret leaves". Moritz meets and describes her..."She had great square teeth, strong and yellow, and her smile was like some aristocratic but fading French countess right out of Proust. She was in her sixties but her hair was still dark and tied in two teenaged pigtails; they stuck out wildly from out beneath a limp and incredibly well used straw hat, the top of which was broken and hinged.Read more ›
However, having said all that there were several times I thought"Whoa!" this is exactly what happened to me! And this is something that no non-PCV would ever understand.
For example, he described the emotional feeling he had from living in Equador similar to the feeling of first falling in love except that this feeling was constant. I had that feeling about Morocco and I STILL have it to this day 30 years later.
He doesn't sugar coat the experience either and describes the hardships of which there were many. Underlying these descriptions were a message that they made him a better person. Ah, how I can relate.
Excellent book and I highly recommend it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A wonderful, timeless memoir. As touching today as when it was originally published back in the late 1960s. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Teeb
Best thing I've read on the Peace Corps. He tells it like it really is.Published 4 months ago by Paloma P. Grasso
I don't remember the last time I read a book that was so full of gray areas and provided no clear black and white situations or easy answers. This is what Mr. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Vahagn Karapetyan
I have read this book five times over the 40 years since it was first issued to me by the Peace Corps in 1970. Read morePublished 17 months ago by TF
Prior to joining the Peace Corps I read as many books about volunteers and their service as possible. This was one perspective and I found it to be an enjoyable read.Published 21 months ago by Joanne Nussbaum
great read, good insight to peace corps. gives a real life view into the experience of peace corps. I would recommend it.Published on April 27, 2014 by skip keane