The Ponds of Kalambayi: An African Sojourn

Mike Tidwell, Author Lyons and Burford Publishers $19.95 (276p) ISBN 978-1-55821-078-3
In 1985, Tidwell joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to teach villagers to build ponds and raise fish in a remote tribal kingdom, Kalambayi, in central Zaire. How he gradually altered his Western notions of privacy and propriety and learned to live in the local culture is the lighter side of a riveting story. During his two-year stint, Tidwell attended nearly 200 funerals, three-quarters of them for children. His ``people'' were desperately poor, malnourished and without medical care. They were generous; at the first fish harvest, the owner gave half his cash crop to friends and relatives. Under Tidwell's tutelage, farmers built more than 100 ponds; they sent two metric tons of fresh fish to village markets in one year, yet the proceeds were not enough to deliver them from poverty. Climate, parasitic diseases, physical exhaustion and depression took their tolls on Tidwell; he turned to alcohol. This is a stirring account of his experiences. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-55821-447-7
Paperback - 286 pages - 978-0-7627-7366-4
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-7627-7704-4
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