Around the World in 80 Books – Country #3 Democratic Republic of the Congo (then called Zaire)
With my goal this year of reading another 80 books set in 80 different countries (contining from last year) – I am at the stage where I am getting into the harder countries to find and read. So finding various peace corps memoirs set in these countries is an easy and interesting way to hit some of them. Tidwell’s Ponds of Kalambayi is no exception. Recalling his experinences as a peace corps volunteer in Zaire, he recounts his experiences establishing the fish farming program. It brings new meaning to the saying, give a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.
Through-out the book, I was struck by how lucky all of us who live in the US are – even those who are the poorest of the poor – because compared to the people of Kalambayi, they are still rich. These are the people who may only have 10 cents in their pocket at any given time; people who rinse their mouths with gasoline for a tooth ache because there is no established medical care and yet, the people who are willing to give about half of their fish harvest (20-30lbs) to their extended family and neighbours because that is what they do.
Overall an interesting read and I see that Tidwell has written some non-memoirs, so I might check those out in the future.