Jesse's Reviews > Mango Elephants in the Sun: How Life in an African Village Let Me Be in My Skin

Mango Elephants in the Sun by Susana Herrera
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's review
Jul 10, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: post-japan-pre-peace-corps

Third book of three Peace Corps memoirs I read that were recommended by a friend who did Peace Corps, and while I was applying for Peace Corps and actually after I received my Peace Corps nomination.

This one was probably my least favorite. Maybe it was it's women studies aspect of a woman finding her inner strength and outer strength to move beyond a life history of abuse and terrible relationships. But I found her voice to be kind of grating, hypocritical, and whiny. And I think had her recruiter read this book, then gone back in time and decided if she's be a good candidate for PC, she might not have nominated her. Because the author seemed to become unhinged as the book progressed and she spent her time in the Cameroonian desert, which granted would be extremely difficult.

But, the part that got me the worst and made me not really care for the author was when two neighbor children came to ask for candy and she only had two pieces left, and that it was, "the hardest sacrifice of her life" TWO PIECE OF CANDY TO TWO KIDS WHO LIVE IN POVERTY AND WOULD PROBABLY NEVER HAVE THOSE KINDS OF THINGS AGAIN AFTER THE VOLUNTEER LEFT - THE HARDEST SACRIFICE OF HER LIFE?! REALLY!? It just really struck a wrong chord with me.

I think that she is a valid voice for a Peace Corps experience, but it wasn't my favorite Peace Corps book,and it wasn't my favorite book in general.

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Jennifer Ok, just to be fair, she didn't say it was the hardest sacrifice of her life. She said" the children will never know just how difficult it is to make this sacrifice"

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