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The Mountain School

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  13 reviews
The Kingdom of Lesotho is a mountainous enclave in southern Africa, and like mountain zones throughout the world it is isolated, steeped in tradition, and home to few outsiders. The people, known as Basotho, are respected in the area as the only tribe never to be defeated by European colonizers.

Greg Alder arrives in Tšoeneng as the village’s first foreign resident since 1
Paperback, 266 pages
Published January 9th 2013 by Greg Alder
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Jill Dobbe
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great story of a Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotha, Africa. Well written, humorous, and engaging.
I had the pleasure of meeting the author last year and getting a signed copy of this book. Under similar circumstances I would say that I am reviewing this book as objectively as possible, but this is impossible for me in the best way possible as this book is the most honest and compelling Peace Corps memoir I have read so far. It was so good that it brought many memories of my own Peace Corps experience to my mind, the good and the bad. Following the three years spent as an English teacher for ...more
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel-the-world
I really enjoyed this book. After reading a couple of Peace Corps Volunteer books that were not that great, I hesitated to pick this one up. I am so glad I did. Greg Adler decided early on in his time in Lesotho, to make the best of it. To really learn the language, spend time with his students and the villagers. I was impressed that he liked his experience so much that volunteered for another year.
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
In The Mountain School, author Greg Alder records his experiences as a Peace Corp teacher in the small country of Lesotho in vivid detail that brings the culture and the people that he comes to know as his community to life.

I actually bought this book because I was searching for more information on the country of Lesotho written in an accessible way, having (embarrassingly) only recently become aware of the country. There was a dearth of first person accounts of the country and its culture and
keith harrington
Greg Alder achieved the Third Goal of Peace Corps with the publication of his book.  In “The Mountain School”, He chronicles his trials and tribulations of surviving and teaching in the tiny landlocked African nation of Lesotho.  The book is well-written and more importantly, well edited.  His stories of his 3-year PC volunteer life were entertaining, enlightening, and … sadly, true.  I do suspect that he wrote the PG rated version of his experience.   I was PCV Lesotho 15 years previous to Greg ...more
Dec 21, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: around-the-world
Amanda Rego
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Mountain School came to me as a recommendation from a friend who knew the author personally. I was happy to have it in my hands since I will soon embark on a three year African journey of my own. I read The Mountain School in hopes of gaining insights into cultural situations I might encounter. It is an engaging and descriptive memoir of a journey into teaching and living in Lesotho. It offers insights into a simple life and all those involved in it. I wish the author had gone deeper into th ...more
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
reading Greg's memoir while living a two hour walk from his old site was pretty bizarre. Some parts of our services have been almost identical. The area's beautiful weather and our tin roofing's complete failure to deal with it. That one creepy Chinese shop in Kolo. Students singing Pula Eana beautifully & loudly everywhere at all hours. Visiting Qacha's Nek as midpoint to Durban. Tsoaing river flash-flooding and stopping kids from getting home after school. Having serial arguments and begging r ...more
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed The Mountain School- far more than I expected to! I suppose expectations really can be everything, because this book was a very pleasant surprise. I thought it might be a bit dull, but it was far from it. The author's concise and straightforward style made the book quite readable.

I was totally immersed in Greg's world in Lesotho- one extremely different from my own position as an American citizen lucky enough to have a life of relative privilege. I learned so much about Lesotho-
Stefanie Johnson
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Mountain School is a great read about leaving the familiar and totally immersing oneself into the unfamiliar. As a travel memoir, this book does everything it's supposed to do: Hooks you in, captures the essence of the place and the people, makes you feel the ups and downs of such an experience, and makes you feel like you were actually there. The Mountain School is full of reflections and anecdotes of living in Lestho, the mountainous country surrounded by South Africa, of Greg Adler who li ...more
Nov 04, 2013 rated it liked it
The author spent 3 years in Lesotho as a peace corps volunteer teaching English in a secondary school in a small, mountain village.
I've read several PCV memoirs now and each one is different. I know everyone's experiences would be unique but this one is even more so in terms of the approach he took with the time and with the writing. Greg sought to immerse himself in the culture and blend in to the surroundings as much as a white man from California can in a small African nation. I had thought
Sarah Webb
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Brought back many memories of my time in Lesotho.
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From 2003 to 2007, Greg Alder lived in Lesotho, Africa, which served as the setting for his first book, THE MOUNTAIN SCHOOL. He now lives in California. Visit the author's website at ...more

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