Harmattan: A Journey across the Saharaby Geraldine Kennedy
In the first months of 1964, four fellow Peace Corps Volunteers and I- all teachers in Liberia-went on a journey. We moved a step at a time, from the last place to the next, 4,000 miles across a continent and the great Sahara Desert. This book is the story of the somewhat random intrusion of our transient selves upon each other and upon the people among whom we
In the first months of 1964, four fellow Peace Corps Volunteers and I- all teachers in Liberia-went on a journey. We moved a step at a time, from the last place to the next, 4,000 miles across a continent and the great Sahara Desert. This book is the story of the somewhat random intrusion of our transient selves upon each other and upon the people among whom we passed. Like the Harmattan winds that accompanied us, we moved through each place, stirring it a little , taking a part of it, and leaving a part of ourselves behind.
It was a period of hopefulness for us and for the young African nations we visitied. Colonialism was passing, everything was possible. We lived in the present, intensely, learning, testing, improvising our way. In the crucible of Africa we faced the unknown and met ourselves. It was a wonderful time.
- Clover Park Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)
Read an Excerpt
Zinder was that place on the edge of the Sahara where they kept and told the desert stories. They knew of he men lost-sixteen Arabls in three trucks swallowed last spring-and those spared, praise Allah, to return to Zinder. A strange sort of anticipation permeated life there, a foreboding of misfortune inevitable as the wind swirling dust through the alleys, against the ancient ageless mesquite, under skirts , and over piles of peppers and yams.
The Harmattan blew. Resignation replaced hope. Endurance meant survival.
Despite the wind, winter was the preferred time for travel in the desert. Death, the people said, accompanied the summer trips of fools.
"Home is foreign. Here, nights smell.
From my interior. Not the garlic or the giardiasis burps.
Listen to darkness. It arrives as comfort
How long until I mildew?
Breathe deep, breathe deep, hold for four, release. Breathe deep, hold, release. Breathe.
Sunrise. I leave my house for the chanting and bargaining; once other people's stories."
Meet the Author
Geraldine Kennedy served with the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers in Liberia during the heady time of independence for many African nations. She returned to the United States to raise a family, serve in local government, earn a masters degree, and found a publishing company. She lives happily in sunny Southern California.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >