I just finished reading Nine Hills to Nambonkaha: Two Years in the Heart of an African Village by Sarah Erdman, a Peace Corps. I picked up a used copy at the library book sale a few months ago in an effort to read more literary nonfiction. On the first blank page of the book is an inscription to “Nathan” from “Allyson” wishing him hope and luck for the next two years.
I'm impressed with the nonjudgmental way Erdman discusses the people she met and the city in which she volunteered and the how she did not set herself up as a hero. I’ve tried to read similar travel memoirs but couldn’t finish them because the writing was so bad and/or the author portrayed his/herself as someone worthy of praise. I almost feel like I was in Nambonkaha with her, that I met the same people she met. Her character and setting descriptions are outstanding.
This book has made me ask…do I want to join the Peace Corps?
I think probably not, but it’s fun to think about.