Thursday, September 23, 2004

Recent awesome reads

I've been on a nonfiction kick as of late and have come across reads that are sure to ignite the passion in others to go out and kick butt in the name of human rights. I know I'm not doing the books justice, but...

Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures
by Kenneth Cain, Heidi Postlewait, and Andrew Thomson
This book reignited my desire to save the world. Perhaps it was meant to serve as a reality check on the limit to what we human beings can accomplish, but it instead demonstrated how each of us can make a small impact on the situation of others. Emergency Sex is the story of three UN human rights workers on missions that land them in Cambodia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Somalia. Told more as a moving memoir than a political diatribe, the authors still manage to tell their story with a gritty reality that doesn't sugar coat the human rights atrocities going on around the world nor the oftentimes ineffectiveness of the the United States government and the United Nations. The book also manages to shine a light on the fact that these are real people with real flaws doing what they can to help others. They have sex, party hard, and still get up each morning to ensure others have the right to do the same.

Nine Hills to Nambonkaha
by Sarah Erdman
Nine Hills to Nambonkaha is the story of Sarah's two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the African village of Nambonkaha. Sent as a health care worker, Erdman manages to stay away from preaching to us and to the villagers as she navigates a mine field of AIDS, female circumcision, childbirth, breast feeding, and preventive medicine. Instead, she allows herself to truly absorb their culture and use village traditions to affect change, both the village and Erdman walking away richer in the end. Having harbored a not so secret desire to join the Peace Corps for many years now, Sarah Erdman's book gave me hope.

1 comment:

  1. Rock on, fellow redhead who wants to save the world! Rock ON!!