A Memoir of Deafness and Africa
Are you ready for a page-turning, fascinating story of a young man’s Peace Corps Service in Zambia? Pick up “The Unheard- A Memoir of Deafness and Africa” by Josh Swiller.
Josh arrived in Zambia naïve and idealistic. His life there was enriched by good friends and cultural experiences. Josh’s Peace Corps service was differentiated by his deafness and hearing aids, which he described to Zambians as amplifying “the sounds of the world”. For the first time in his life, Josh felt accepted by people who didn’t care about his deafness.
Although Josh had wonderful relationships with co-workers and students, he couldn’t achieve his goal of building wells with clean drinking water. The village chief and villagers refused to cooperate in the project.
Instead, Josh volunteered in the local clinic. There were cases of malaria, dysentery, AIDS and tuberculosis. Life in Zambia was far from idyllic in other ways, too. Poverty and violence were rampant.
Because I served in the Peace Corps in the Central African Republic many years ago, the book appealed to me personally. A diverse range of readers, however, will find this book compelling. Read it if you are interested in a good biography, learning about Africa or exploring the resilience of the human soul.
Reviewed: October 18, 2012 Rating: A
Reviewed on October 18, 2012 by Anna M. Stathis, a civil rights attorney and frequent guest contributor to UrbanLand Media.