June 14, 2003 - Personal Web Site: In Search of the Elusive Peace Corps Moment by Estonia RPCV Douglas Wells

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Estonia: The Peace Corps in Estonia: June 14, 2003 - Personal Web Site: In Search of the Elusive Peace Corps Moment by Estonia RPCV Douglas Wells

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, June 14, 2003 - 12:40 pm: Edit Post

In Search of the Elusive Peace Corps Moment by Estonia RPCV Douglas Wells

In Search of the Elusive Peace Corps Moment by Estonia RPCV Douglas Wells

In Search of the Elusive Peace Corps Moment
by Douglas Wells

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Customer Reviews

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Number of Reviews: 9
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Those crazy Estos, January 15, 2003
Reviewer: A reader from San Francisco, CA United States
This book was hilarious. I finished the book in one evening, I couldn't put it down. I have recommended it to friends and family and all have enjoyed it. It gave my husband a glimpse of the Estonian food, personalities, attitudes, language and culture that I grew up with as the daughter of Estonian-Americans.

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Really enjoyed this book, July 6, 2002
Reviewer: Jennifer McDaniels from Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I truly enjoyed Mr. Wells' article "The Bell of Emmaste" in the June 2002 READER'S DIGEST (Canadian Edition). I was even more delighted when I read his book "In Search of the Elusive Peace Corps Moment". Douglas Wells is a very talented story teller. I look forward to reading his next book.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

The best inspiration yet to join the Peace Corps, March 7, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from Kirkland, WA
Nonfiction is usually a gamble at best. Not with Mr. Wells' book. As a returned Peace Corps volunteer, I have constantly looked for any kind of book that would make me remember back to my time spent abroad and conjure up the unique feelings of pride and worth that typically come with a Peace Corps assignment. This is the first book that has really made me dig into my memory and cherish all of those Peace Corps moments once again. Rather than dwelling on some self absorbed search for inner meaning that can usually lead to a way too subjective and personal point of view, Mr. Wells instead chose the more entertaining route of simply telling stories. True stories that are humorous and bring out the character of the country and the locals that he had interacted with. I too married a young local lady as a Peace Corps volunteer, and Mr. Wells' sections on the courting of his wife are both sentimental and hilarious at the same time.
If you are thinking of joining the Peace Corps but have not yet made the decision, read this book and it will make up your mind for you. If you are a returned Peace Corps volunteer who wants to relive the wonderful frustrations and numerous treasured moments that all volunteers take home with them in their hearts forever, this book will rekindle those fires. I thought I would be disappointed with this book, but it was an unexpected and wonderful surprise.

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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful:

Again, March 5, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from Seattle, WA
The fact of the matter is that this is a really bad book for several reasons. The book gives little to no insight into the life of a normal Peace Corps volunteer, but rather instead serves as a vehicle for Doug to boast about his exploits in a very pretentious fashion. The writing itself is very juvenile and undisciplained, just plain boring in many spots, and then trying to bring these boring stories to an exciting climax. If you are looking for a book that is going to let you know what it is like to have a normal existance as a Peace Corps volunteer, then it is my opinion that this is not the book for you.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

Now I know..., March 4, 2002
Reviewer: Sven Salumaa from San Diego, CA USA
...why our family did so many of the things we did while growing up in New York. As the son of two first generation Estonian immigrants, not only was this one of the most entertaining books I have ever read (I laughed out loud constantly), but it gave me a lot of objective insight into what the Estonian culture is really like, from a first-hand, American point of view.

Douglas Wells does a fantastic job telling stories. Every chapter held my curiosity from the get-go. I have already recommended this book to many of my friends and will continue to do so. My sincerest thank you to Mr. Wells for providing me these hours of pleasure!

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Broad appeal, February 20, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from Overseas
The fact that a chapter of this book appeared in the December 2001 International edition of Reader's Digest is a testimony to its broad appeal.

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Great book!, February 1, 2002
Reviewer: Deborah B. Derrick from Omaha, NE United States
Reading this book brought back good memories of working with Doug at the engineering firm. I laughed out loud at several of his stories. Doug has wonderful storytelling skills, a self-deprecating sense of humor and a sense of aplomb about any situation he gets himself into. You can easily put yourself in his place when you read the narrative. The sheep roundup story is great!

I highly recommend the book for anyone interested in the Peace Corps or the foreign service...or anyone looking for a good read. You won't be able to put it down.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Good Guide to Estonia Too, January 17, 2002
Reviewer: Justin Fidler (see more about me) from WASHINGTON, DC USA
I visited Estonia a few weeks ago, and this book is a decent guide to Estonian culture, though maybe more on the rural side. I also enjoyed Douglas's sense of humour, and great storytelling skills.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Fantastic book, August 9, 2001
Reviewer: Joel D. Waters from Los Angeles, CA USA
What a great book! Almost every Peace Corps Volunteer wants to write about their experience. A few succeed in writing their book, but Douglas Wells has succeeded in writing a great book. He has a unique sense of irony which make for a very entertaining read, while at the same time you really feel for him as he struggles to make good as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Irony is not Wells' only gift. He is also extremely thoughtful and insightful, which give the entire book the sense that you are peaking into someone's personal diary. The themes, however, are universal to the Peace Corps experience. When he compares the stunned look on the Estonians' faces when he begins to address them in their native language to Planet of the Apes, (the original, not the Mark Wahlberg remake) when the simians first learn that Charlton Heston can speak...I don't think there are many Peace Corps Volunteers who can not relate to this. Yet only Douglas Wells would have ever come up with such a comparison.

This book is a great read for anyone interested in what the Peace Corps Experience is really like. Also a very good read for those interested in Estonia.

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Story Source: Personal Web Site

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Estonia; Writers - Estonia



By k.i.d. 17y, Tartu on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 5:35 pm: Edit Post

I just finished reading the book (in Estonian). It is... absolutely... amazing!! I really don't have words for it... it's just great! All the stories were funny and touching, although some of them made me really angry at Estonians. Well.. I can certanly assure you all, that things have changed a lot since 1996. The "yellow buses" are long gone, as almost all of the other annoying things, that were described in that great book. (Can't help praising the book ;) ). And we (Estonians) have probably changed a lot since that time. Although 90% of the Russians are still the same... can't speak a single word in Estonian. :P

Douglas visited Hiiumaa on the 8th of July to sign his book. Some pictures are here: http://hot.ee/pildikoda2/douglas/

Thank You, Douglas!! I really enjoyed Your book! :)

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