I’ve just published a memoir: Bread From the Sky. For a variety of reasons, I procrastinated for years before working to bring my handwritten journal into shape for publication. Living in Togo was a tremendous experience, and thoughts of West Africa kept returning, stories that begged to be told.
How many cat heads do you have to eat before you acquire the characteristics of a cat? Why do you hang a snail shell in a tree? How do you get a curse removed? And who buried a gri-gri in the yard? These and other burning questions are answered in Bread From the Sky.
Here’s a synopsis:
- Wanting a career change and armed with a graduate degree in international studies, a woman in her mid-40s leaves her divorce and ordinary life behind for a two-year stint as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, West Africa.
She learns survival skills in order to live without electricity or plumbing like the rest of the people in her adopted village. She also gains language skills as, in addition to French, which is still the official language, there are over half a dozen local languages in common use at her village. Adjusting to a new culture, several different languages and some very old attitudes is sometimes difficult, frustrating and funny.
There are friends to be made, foods to get used to, bureaucrats and insects to contend with, health issues to recover from and red tape to choke on. Dealing with people who want to rip her off, who harass her (sexually and otherwise) and who always want something from her isn’t easy. The challenges are offset by the warmth and friendship that was found along the way as well as some amazing experiences.
As a wise man said to her, “Africa will change you, whether you want it to or not.”
Bread From the Sky is the true story of my two years in Togo as a Peace Corps Volunteer.