A full menu for blog readers this week!
There are new additions to the “Ten Minutes” page, sent by Ray, Char (including Char’s poem), and Jack Johnston, so be sure to check that out. Jack sent his with a note explaining, “I had hoped to share this experience with everyone at the reunion, but since I was unable to attend at the last minute, I’ll include it here for you to post on your post-reunion blog page.” Jack also wrote that Emily is recovering nicely.
If you were there and haven’t e-mailed me a copy of your remarks yet, please try to get something in before it all slips away. Also, if you weren’t there, please feel free to send in your own “ten minutes” contribution, as Jack did. I’m not sure how to describe them, except to say that they were reflections on what the Peace Corps experience has meant to us, in more personal terms, for the most part, than we shared in the yearbook.
You’ll also find, on the My Heart Is Like a Cabbage page, a new chapter added--Chapter 9. This is my own response to Jerry after a quick reading of the chapter: “Maybe it's having been a teacher for so many years myself, with the same impulse to reach students, the same ambiguity about wanting to break down barriers while discouraging familiarity, but I could actually feel my body tensing up as I read on. I identified with the teacher, with the student, with their different ambitions, with their hope and fear and shame. This must be the most tightly focused chapter in the novel so far. Nice work.”
Judy Cline sent a note that those of us who have photos, films, stories, poems, etc., might considering posting them to the Peace Corps site, since the Peace Corps is also gathering these items. The link to do so is http://collection.peacecorps.gov/
Char already sent a book recommendation to everyone via e-mail, but I’ll post it here as well:
in the U.S. the title is Someone Knows My Name .... by Lawrence Hill
in Canada it was The Book of Negroes
Lawrence Hill's novel is told in the voice of Aminata Diallo, who is abducted
at 11 in West Africa and sent as a slave to South Carolina. years later, she makes
her way to freedom, serves the British in the Revolutionary War and registers her
name in the historic Book of Negroes, an actual document that provides a record
of freed Loyalist slaves who requested permission to resettle in Nova Scotia, and
returns to Sierra Leone as one of 1,200 former slaves who embarked on a perilous
journey back to Africa. Hill is a master of transforming neglected corners of history
into brilliant fiction, and in Aminata Diallo has created one of the strongest female
characters in recent Canadian literature.
i encourage all to read this powerful , brilliant novel ..... which is in development for
a movie. you'll want to name your child, your pet , your anything Aminata ... after
this most powerful character.
And thanks to Jim Murphy, who keeps me posted on items about Sierra Leone which appear in the New York Times. The most recent were a pair of columns by Nicholas Kristof--the first, dated Oct. 9, with the headline “In This Rape Center, the Patient Was 3,” and the second, dated Oct. 13 with a Kenema byline, is headed “One Girl’s Courage.”