TUBOB: Two Years in West Africa with the Peace Corps Kindle Edition
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Memoirs are a dime a dozen these days, and the genre is not everyone's cup of tea. But, a well written memoir can be a joy to read, transporting the reader in time and place and allowing the opportunity to experience life with another's sensibility. If the subject is interesting as well, you have great memoir. That is the sort of book Mary E. Trimble has written.
The story takes place in the late 1970s. A newlywed couple from Seattle joins the Peace Corps and heads for The Gambia, a small and to put it kindly, undeveloped nation in West Africa. As Mary and her younger husband Bruce discover, coping with the challenges of the assignment will go better if they pool their considerable talents and support each other. Talk about romance. Here we have a real life example of a man and woman coping with extremely difficult situations that could easily have led to bickering and discord. Instead, Bruce and Mary rose to every occasion with humor, creative solutions and hard work. Despite a miserable climate, frustrating working conditions, and bouts of illness, the couple thrives and manages to have success--not as they originally imagined it, but real success none-the-less.
It's not easy to convey the clash of cultures Mary experienced; but she does so masterfully. She manages to go from naive to expert in third-world living without becoming cynical or preachy. She shows rather than tells the story. The result is a revelation for the reader.
In the interest of full disclosure, I met Mary soon after her Peace Corps adventure thirty years ago. We were both returning college students just back from our respective exotic travels; we were studying Information Technology (or as it was known then, Data Processing). Between classes Mary charmed me with a few of the stories in the book but I never got the full picture. Nor did I get to see Bruce's excellent photos that add so much to understanding the experience. I was impressed then with Mary and Bruce, after reading the book, my admiration is even greater.
Suffice it to say, Mary has had a rich and varied life. She is a master story teller and what she has to say brings the exotic to you. Read her book you'll long for sequels!
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Much more than a travel journal author Mary Trimble ushers the reader into the rhythm of life in West Africa.Read more