Never Cheat a Holy Man is my memoir about the three enlightening, adventure-filled years in the mid-'60s when my family and I lived in East Pakistan. As "memsahib", my job was to supervise a Muslim all-male household workforce. When the cook warmed the toast in his armpits and chilled the chicken in the refrigerator - still alive, I realized I was not communicating adequately. I acquired new skills mediating between cook and laundryman who were at constant odds. The 1965 India-Pakistan conflict caused particular concern for my friends and me when we were held at gun point, accused of being spies by Bengali soldiers. The Hindu Holy Man's retracted blessings and getting my sari pulled off by a small boy at a village fair, were just two instances that gave me new understanding of this culture so unlike my own. Despite the poverty and disease I saw, there was much beauty, harmony, and humor to appreciate. - Joyce Mueller
About the author:
Joyce Mueller, now in her 90s, remembers how it felt to be a Caucasian, English-speaking, non-Muslim nurse, wife, and mother confronting a totally opposite culture. She went from scared and shocked to empathetic and appreciative. Now widowed, Mrs. Mueller lives on the southern Oregon coast. She is still writing poetry and short stories.