How a Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and a Third World Adventure Changed My Life
In this laugh-out-loud funny memoir, a pampered city girl falls head over little black heels in love with a Peace Corps poster boy and follows him literally to the ends of the earth.
Eve Brown always thought she would join the Peace Corps someday, although she secretly worried about life without sushi, frothy coffee drinks, and air conditioning. But with college diploma in hand, it was time to put up or shut up. So with some ambivalence she arrives at the Peace Corps office sporting her best safari-chic attire to casually look into the steps one might take if one were to become a global humanitarian, a la Angelina Jolie.
But when Eve meets John, her dashing young Peace Corps recruiter, all her ambivalence flies out the window. She absolutely must join the Peace Corps - and win John's heart in the process. Off to Ecuador she goes and - after a year in the jungle - back to the States she runs, vowing to stay within easy reach of a decaf cappuccino for the rest of her days. But life had other plans. Just as she's getting reacquainted with the joys of toilet paper, John gets a job with CARE and Eve must decide if shes up for life in another third-world outpost. Before you can say, "pass the malaria prophylaxis," the couple heads off to Uganda, and the fun really begins--if one can call having rats in your toilet fun.
Fortunately, in Eve's case one certainly can, because to her, every experience is an adventure to be embraced, and these pages come alive with all of the alternatively poignant and uproarious details.
With wit and candor, First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria chronicles Eve's misadventures as an aspiring do-gooder. Here is an honest and laugh-out-loud funny look at the search for love and purpose from a woman who finds both in the last place she expected.
©2009 Eve Brown Waite (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
The narrator is terrific--emotional and funny and a master of accents (at least, she convinced me). The story is interesting and personal, as memoirs at their best are. It is evocative and informative, and made me want to travel to Africa immediately.
This writer and her husband joined the world of the expats in remote locations who go to make a difference in the lives of the people living in the countries they visit, in this case, Uganda. She is compassionate and insightful, and yet from time to time she makes observations that seem to lack in both, of the what-is-the-matter-with-these-people-anyway variety, acknowledging their poverty and the corruption of their government yet simultaneously frustrated that they can't just stand up and rise above it.
However, that said, it is clear that her heart is in the right place, and given the instability of the region and the vast differences between the American culture (and what we take for granted) and the Ugandans' culture (and what they not only take for granted but also accept), she draws a remarkable and positive picture.
I have read/listened to dozens of memoirs, bios, and auto-bios. Never have I not liked a person so much. For someone who wants to join the Peace Corp and save the world - Eve complains, whines, and carries on as if she didn't expect to be in a third world country surrounded by people who think white people are strange and don't speak English.
The only reason I finished this book was because I hoped at some point along the way she would redeem herself of the constant moaning and grousing - but no - she surprised me and ended up worse.
I liked the location the most. What I liked the least was the authors whiny tone and annoying that she never made an effort to meet the towns people and have relationships with Ugandans outside of her husbands job. She lived there 3 years and never learned the language, ugh.
Not really but it was cheap so it's ok.
Eye opening story told from a very real and familiar viewpoint. Great job at making you feel like you were there.
Eve Brown Waite's account of her time in the peace corp, marrying her peace corp recruiter, and their subsequent move to Uganda is at turns hilarious, poignant, and culturally informative while being unfailing honest in it's self reflection. Very much worth the listen for anyone who enjoys the unquestioning humor that always comes with overseas adventures!
In the first chapters of this book I thought this shallow, narcissistic writer must be presenting herself in a harsh light in order to show how the Peace Corps and developing world would change and strengthen her character. No such luck. Rarely has such a self-absorbed person set carelessly written, shabbily edited words on paper. As a returned Peace Corp Volunteer who worked for 3 years in Sierra Leone with my husband and 3 children, I am interested in the experience of other PCVs. Yes, I have had malaria and so have 2 of my children. Yes, as the "non-matrix spouse" I had challenges defining a job for myself. Yes, I have subsisted on a limited diet and pined for American food and physical comforts. But Ms. Waite's experience with deprevation is appallingly self-centered, and whatever growth she experiences happens off stage or is instantly erased by her needy, whiny attitude. Count me in among the Audible reviewers offended by her writing on perceived African body odor -- and it's not just a mention, it's a rant.
As for her signature chapter sign off, "I'll keep you posted," my response is, "No thanks, I've had enough."
Not sure. This is the type of book you'd pick up and read on a rainy day or borrow at your sister's house because you're bored. Not one you'd intentionally purchase at full price, but worth a read or listen if the price is right.
Certainly Eve's travels are interesting. I was disappointed in how her story was portrayed though. Her book highlights an averageness. It was a story of a woman whose love for an amazing husband is evident, but not one that highlights an amazing woman. Not to say that she's not, but she didn't convey that to the reader.
I really enjoyed Conor Greenan's Little Princes,for example,because it highlights an average Joe who seems to stumble into excellence. This seems to be focused on the reverse.
Good (Sorry, just one).
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