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The Village of Waiting by George Packer

The Village of Waiting

by George Packer

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Packer, a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo in the early '80s, captures the incredible alienation of being the lone world-traveling white man in a place where few people have even left the village. It's rare to read a book that so fuly explores the potential misery of the travel experience and rarer still to find one that can do it in a thoughtful rather than self-pitying way. In describing his own experiences, Packer fleshes out the lives and characters of his village host family and fellow teachers in a vivid and memorable way, giving a 3-dimensional face to the countless impersonal news stories we read about African poverty. I think everyone needs to read this book. ( )
  cestovatela | Apr 9, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374527806, Paperback)

Now restored to print with a new Foreword by Philip Gourevitch and an Afterword by the author, this book is a frank, moving, and vivid account of contemporary life in West Africa. Stationed as a Peace Corps instructor in the village of Lavié (the name means "wait a little more") in tiny and underdeveloped Togo, Packer reveals his own schooling at the hands of an unforgettable array of townspeople--peasants, chiefs, charlatans, children, market women, cripples, crazies, and those who, having lost or given up much of their traditional identity and fastened their hopes on "development," find themselves trapped between the familiar repetitions of rural life and the chafing monotony of waiting for change.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:29 -0400)

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