Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monique and the Mango Rains

... Two Years with a Midwife in Mali.

Monique and the Mango Rains is a beautiful book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I read the review for this book in Natasha’s blog and I knew immediately that I wanted to read this book. It was an amazing book.

Kris Holloway went to Mali for a year as part of the Peace Corps program. She stayed in a village and Monique, the midwife in the village was her host. This book is all about the year that Kris spent in Mali – the things she sees there, the things she does, the people she meets, the friendships she makes, etc. Through Kris’s eyes, we see the reality. We see Mali for what it is. Through a simple description of one year in Mali, Kris brings out a lot about the life of people there – their culture, their habits, their life, their eating habits, etc. When you finish the book, you almost feel like you’ve been in Mali yourself!

Monique was a very inspiring person and I am glad that Kris decided to share her story with the world. At the age of 24, Monique was the only midwife/clinician for the village of Nampossela. She had an active interest in the health of the community and went out of her way to help those in need. She battled childhood malnutrition, found a way to get contraceptive for mothers, fought against female circumcision, etc and managed to keep her cheerful face and friendly demeanor through all difficulty. Monique the midwife, however, had another life. She had an unhappy marriage and two children. Her salary for being the midwife went directly to her father in law and she only received a small portion that was insufficient to make ends meet.

You don’t have to be a book lover to like this book. It is definitely not a tough read… but it is definitely fascinating and very inspiring. And it definitely makes us more aware of the world around us. Sometimes, it is so easy to take the comforts that we have for granted. So it is good to read books like this once in a while and realize that we are indeed very lucky in the world and most of our cribs and complaints are so insignificant.

I think the best learning experience would be to visit places like this and see all this for ourselves. But then again, not everyone gets to go to Nampossela and stay there for a year and interact with the local community. I guess that is where books like this become so important. They give us the knowledge without actually having to go through the experience.

Well, bottom line – you should read this book. It is an amazing book; Educational and at the same time interesting to read!


bermudaonion said...

This book is on my wish list! It looks so good.

Ramya said...

@bermudaonion- yeah! it is a must read for everyone!:) read it as soon as you can!:) cant wait to see your review!

Dar said...

Awesome review Ramya! You articulated your feelings on this book so perfectly. I already wanted to read it and now I really want to read it. That's what's great about these books isn't it-that we can journey someplace like this in our minds.

Ramya said...

@dar - i know! i think books satisfy (to an extent) my wish to see the whole world.. and somehow they work out so much better than travelling.. there's only so much you can see and learn in a vacation that's max a week long!:)

Dar said...

Not to mention they're cheaper too. lol.

Ramya said...

of course!!!:) free if you read a book from the library! how much better does that get??:)

Trish said...

I completely agree with your thought on getting the experience at a distance. I've had this one on my radar for a while (I think since seeing Natasha's review), but your review has made me want to read it even more!

Anna said...

I've added this to my list. Sounds like an interesting book. I especially like how you said it makes you feel as though you were there, too.

Diary of an Eccentric