How to Cook a Crocodile: A memoir with recipes. Bonnie Lee Black. Peace Corps Writers, 2010.
Bonnie has produced a well written and very interesting Peace Corps memoir of her time in Gabon. As she was writing from an adult female point of view I found it relatable, even though I served as a young adult. Perhaps the best part of her book is the way she introduces us to the people of her village in Gabon. Her characters are interesting and strong. It’s one of the few books that left me feeling that I was actually there. Even more, I wish that I was there, even though I’m sure that I could not take the heat.
Bob served in the Philippines, on the island of Romblon from 1968-1970. Nearly every poem and every story mirrors some part of my experience in the Philippines. He clearly shows us the emotions that volunteers experience, before, during, and after their Peace Corps experience. There is his very funny poem, “Creeping Crawling Flying” where we are introduced to the bugs of the Philippines in a fresh new yet familiar way. Then there is the reality check we all experience with his poem “Culture Shock” comparing the shock of being there with the reverse shock of returning. I would highly recommend this easy, fun, read to anyone interested in the Peace Corps experience and especially to people familiar with the Philippines.
To learn more, check out Bob’s site.