Month: August 2018

The Bush Devil Ate Sam – Part Two

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The Bush Devil Ate Sam is a book written by WordPress blogger Curtis Mekemson. His blog “Wandering through Time and Place.” is chalk full of his adventures in life and I found myself a Constant Reader (stealing the words of Stephen King) because of his writing style. I was hooked.

When I saw that he had written a book, how could not get my hands on it? I was holding a book written by someone I envied, admired and talked to on-line. Curt and his wife Peggy are the type of people that do things most of us think or dream of doing. They live life like there is no tomorrow! I am in awe of their lifestyle.

I knew I would love the book, but did not know the extent of new knowledge that I would end up walking away with. Insights into a place I hear about on the news just became real. It was more than just the name of a country. I love his account of what took place because he is not one-sided. (I really like that)

If I had a way with words, I would go on. But I take pictures because writing is not my strong suit. I have always been a short and to the point type person so I will leave you with this:

Buy it, you will like it. Plus he is donating half the proceeds to Friends of Liberia. It is a win-win. And if trusts this charity, then I do too!

Don’t forget to check out his site: “Wandering through Time and Place.”

Buy this book here.

Book Description in Curt’s Words:

The Bush Devil Ate Sam is the story of my experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia, West Africa from 1965-67— four years after President John Kennedy created the organization. Join me as I make the decision to sign up, go through training in San Francisco, fly off to West Africa, and spend two years teaching second graders and high school students.

A wandering gene passed down by ancestors— reinforced by my experiences as a student at the University of California, Berkeley— led me to sign up for the Peace Corps. You will meet some of the ancestors. As for Berkeley, the 60s were turbulent, divisive and very interesting times on campus. I joined the Free Speech Movement, sat-in at Sproul Hall, and gave a speech while standing on the Dean’s desk. The FBI was watching.

Just how do you prepare people to leave their friends, family and culture to spend two years of living and working in a dramatically different culture? The Peace Corps was still struggling with this question in 1965. Did camping our group in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and introducing a crate of clucking chickens for dinner help?

My story is about the challenges of teaching in a third world country. But it is also about how the history, politics, and culture of Liberia impacted the job we were brought in to perform. Why, for example, was an elementary school reader I wrote featuring African folk tales and Liberian children considered a revolutionary tract by the government?

Mainly, The Bush Devil Ate Sam is about everyday life, African style. Do-Your-Part the Dog adopts me and then causes a mini-riot when she sneaks in behind me to the grand opening of a mosque. Rasputin the Cat and the rooster next door take turns waking me up at 5 a.m. A tribal chief offers to lend me a Lightning Man who can make lightning strike whomever stole my $50.

I conclude with an epilogue that covers Liberian history from the 1970s up to the present, including Liberia’s civil wars and Ebola.

To read my first post on this book click here.

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