my challenges

Monday, September 3, 2012

In Search of the Elusive Peace Corps Moment

In Search of the Elusive Peace Corps Moment: Destination Estonia, by Douglas Wells.

I picked this book up because I needed a book on Estonia for the European Reading Challenge and had not succeeded in finding any book on Estonia that kept my interest long enough to actually finish it.  I expected this one to quickly join the pile of rejected reads.  Boy was I wrong!  I am so glad I was forced to cast aside several more well known titles so that this was the only book on Estonia in the local library that held any possibility of being interesting, or I would have missed one heck of an entertaining book.  Wells writes from his own experiences with a humor and healthy sense of self-deprecation that surely served him well in newly post-Soviet Estonia.  His retelling of his sheep wrangling experience was particularly enjoyable.  I laughed and laughed as I read it, then had to take the whole chapter and read it to several others it was so funny.  You know you've got a gem when the reader can't keep from sharing the good bits with other unsuspecting friends and relatives!  I enjoyed this book from beginning to end, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading about others' adventures or misadventures in a foreign country.  It was not so much about the Peace Corps as it was about being human and finding a way to survive and thrive in a culture so foreign that up might as well be down.  Well done, Mr. Wells!  4.5

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