Returned Peace Corps
Volunteers of South Florida


The author, a fifty-five-year-old American woman, becomes a Peace Corps volunteer in a bush village in Senegal, where she lives in a tiny house without electricity or running water and works with Sérère villagers who present her with cultural conflicts involving Islam and animism. In spite of physical discomforts, the narrator forges essential bonds though she despairs at the futility of her often misguided efforts to help her neighbors. The reader perceives something different, however, through the stories of people she has touched: Bayalou, whom she saves from becoming a cripple; Coulibali, whose butik business improves with a few retailing tips; Omar, the artiste autodidacht, who moves from drawing in the sand to becoming a successful painter; the women of Diakhanor, who build a warehouse and thriving business for their shellfish and millet. The author learns wisdom and goodness from the greatest teachers on the planet, the poor.

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