by Susana Herrera
I bought this book for �1.99 from a cheapy cheapy remainder book shop on Charing Cross Road yesterday as I walked up from Leicester Sq area to Tottenham Court Road after a long lunch with a new internet friend (after having filled her head with dreams of Africa and then, the pleasures of browsing Stanford's Africa section).
Mango Elephants In The Sun is the tale of a 23 year old American woman who travels to Cameroon with the Peace Corps (92-94) and takes a position as a teacher for 2 years in a small village there. She gets paid only enough to buy groceries (though evidently enough to splurge on food/ bus/ taxi every now and then). The story takes us through her struggle against the belief that every white person, especially from America, is rich, her difficulty in finding her own methods for gaining the respect of her students and her slow but sure establishment of strong friendships in her African community. When she arrives in Africa she is emtionally wounded from her life to date and seeking some kind of answer to it all.
The start is a little too schmaltzy/ spiritual but it very quickly improves - I can't believe how involved I became in her story after a few chapters.
As I came to the end of it I found myself weeping so much I could hardly read and sitting in an absolutely freezing cold bathtub.
Anyway, although the poetic nature of her writing is occasionally a little too contrived, mostly it is genuine and exciting and emotionally charged.
I really enjoyed it. Don't know if anyone else will but...
I thought I'd share.
Mango Elephants In The Sun
by Susana Herrera
Recent ActivityView all Africa & the Middle East activity »
- 1 Namibia road conditions
- 2 Embarrassing question about gorilla tracking
- 3 Interested in joining me on Nov. 16-23 Liuwa Plain trip?
- 4 Small Tented Camp under $350USD in Kenya??
- 5 elderly travel to Zanzibar from USA
- 6 Kenya,Tanzania and Zanzibar Travel Tips
- 7 Botswana - Kwara or Victoria Falls/Chobe (after 9 nights around Kruger)
- 8 Questions about Chobe
- 9 New regulations for parents traveling to or in South Africa with children
- 10 Zambia, A Scenic Arrival
- 11 Most affordable airfare to get to the Western Sabi lodges
- 12 Advice and Suggestions for Southern Africa - April or June / July?
- 13 Sabi Sand Game Reserve Expert (Skukuza, South Africa)
- 14 Looking for child friendly self catering house in Cape Town in March 2015
- 15 Some advice re driving from Durban to Capetown via Umtata
- 16 Ebola and Morocco
- 17 Thompson Gazelle
- 18 Overland in West Africa
- 19 Domestic flight to HDS/MQP from JNB??
- 20 boutique hotel in tel aviv?
- 21 Morrocco and Cash
- 22 Don't go to Morrocco!
- 23 Car Hire Victoria Mahe Seychelles
- 24 Kenya - July 2014 - Acacia House in Masai Mara area
- 25 Overland trip Iceland to South Africa