By Carol Bergman
One other Day in Paradise is an anthology of first-person tales by way of overseas relief employees. Written by means of lively relief staff and spanning the new spots of the globe from Afghanistan to Cambodia, Rwanda to Vietnam and Ecuador to Bosnia, those tales inform it love it relatively is at the flooring. protecting traditional catastrophe, battle and all-too-fragile peace, those tales open an uncensored window onto the lives of reduction employees and the triumphs and tragedies of the folk they are attempting to aid
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Mt. Etna erupted while I was there, and I was intoxicated. When I returned home, I read books about volcanoes, watched films about them, and later studied geology and volcanology. Volcanoes are a window into the earth’s interior, and this fascinates me. For centuries, millions of people have been terrified and attracted by their power, and I am no exception. In ancient myths volcanoes are gods or inhabited by gods, revered, worshiped, and feared as gateways to • 30 • ADIP int. mech. pgs 1-80 UK 9/5/03 10:29 AM Page 31 Natural Disasters: Ecuador Henry Gaudru before a live volcano in Cape Verde in 1995.
Grandmother will summon me to the altar to ask for our ancestors’ blessings, reminding me in her usual tone to be good because they’ll always find me. ” which never fails to elicit a roar of laughter from her. But this time I’ll ask that our ancestors look after her in our homeland—the Mekong Delta—the birthplace of our ancestors. • 50 • ADIP int. mech. ” There’s a major boulevard in N’djamena that must have been beautiful once. Amid the gutted buildings and tarmac pocked by mortars, some peach archways have survived.
We board a rickety wooden boat. It is the only way to travel into Tan Lap, and though the water looks calm today, it may not be calm tomorrow if the rains continue. Even • 43 • ADIP int. mech. pgs 1-80 UK 9/5/03 10:29 AM Page 44 A N O T H E R D AY I N PA R A D I S E before we reach shore, a dozen or so women with warm and welcoming smiles wade through waist-deep water, grabbing our hands to lead us from the boat. How is it that these women are able to smile graciously in the face of disaster? Their smiles conceal hardship; stress lines on their faces reveal endless hours of worry and sleeplessness.