September 9, 2003 - iUniverse: Lesotho Country Director Donovan Russell writes "Right before his very eyes"

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Lesotho: Peace Corps Lesotho : The Peace Corps in Lesotho: September 9, 2003 - iUniverse: Lesotho Country Director Donovan Russell writes "Right before his very eyes"

By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 1:17 pm: Edit Post

Lesotho Country Director Donovan Russell writes "Right before his very eyes"

Lesotho Country Director Donovan Russell writes "Right before his very eyes"



Donovan Russell worked in Southern Africa for fourteen years. Based on this experience he has written a book which is described in the following note from the book jacket. The story is written for the general public with a special hope of appealing to youth and young adults; introducing important international issues and encouraging them to be more open to the world. While written as fiction, the book is based on actual events. Lessons in the story are told through personal dealings across cultures.

It is clear from the story that the author believes the struggle against ignorance, illiteracy, poor health, poverty and discrimination is a significant part of the war against chaos and terrorism. The story is of special relevance to the professional and personal dilemmas that development workers have but also to the cross cultural challenges that the develping world and the west as a whole face. The story demonstrates the critical value of deep person to person relationships across cultures. Questions of values and ethics in development work come through the story.

An Encounter With the Mysteries of Africa

Donovan Russell

This is a story about people whose ancient way of life is threatened by social upheaval and violence. It is a story of Africans( Black, Brown and White) during the convulsive height of Apartheid--made worse by the great power struggle during the incredible cold war. It is a story of people caught in something they do not understand.

But, the story is about more than this. It is also about the dilemmas that people face when face to face with a vastly different culture. It is about their helplessness as events wash over them, as modernization steals their children and as hard times reach into their homes.

The story is about the suffering of ordinary people when "big men" step into the breach in Africa, to exploit, intimidate and struggle with each other for power and riches.

Issues of socio-economic development come alive through the story. People's lives are seen in relation to the initiatives of development organizations.

But this is not a story entirely about the negative side of life. It is told through the touching lives of people who manage remarkably well. It is a story of people from vastly different backgrounds who have hope where there is little room for it, civil relations where there should be antagonism, patience in the face of extreme frustration and who trust in an atmosphere of suspicion. The story is at times even amusing. It takes place in a complicated, fascinating and overwhelmingly beautiful part of the world.

The Foreword

Look, look from this rooftop of Africa, look from this cathedraled pinnacle in the Mountain Kingdom. Look from Lesotho down silent canyons toward Transkei, toward Natal, toward the northeastern Cape. Listen, listen to the wind, listen to revered ancestors watching over their people and whispering of the new arrivals.

Listen in the wind for a place where people have time for each other and there is security in family and community. Where there is respect and courtesy between the generations and sharing is still a virtue. Where life is a spiritual thing and being is as important as doing or having.

What does the wind say about such a place? What does it foretell?

Donovan Russell taught in schools and colleges in New York, Maryland and Quebec. His graduate studies were completed at State University of New York/Oswego and Cornell University. Dr. Russell was Director of Education Planning for a Canadian Province and served in the North Carolina Department of Education.

Later he managed overseas development projects for several organizations in southern Africa and in Asia. For some of the years that he was overseas he served as Country Director for the Peace Corps in Africa (Lesotho) and in Asia (Nepal ). Mr. Russell currently does consulting. His most recent overseas assignments have been in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Jordan. He is President of Educate the Children based in Ithaca, N.Y.

The Book is 318 pages. It is available online from Writer's Showcase Publications. Please go to Click on bookstore and then click on booksearch. Or one may telephone the publisher toll free at 877-823-9235 for further discussion or to place an order. In addition Barnes and Noble have the book at as does at

Taken From The Introduction

The story will also appeal to:

- High school and college students of African history and culture.

-University students of history, political science, anthropology and international development.

-Managers, specialists and volunteers with NGO'S and INGO's.

-Administrators and volunteers with international volunteer organizations.

-Cross cultural trainers and communicators.

-Administrators and specialists with international development organizations, relief agencies and missions.

-Foreign affairs professionals

-Schools and other organizations with programs in character and values education.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: iUniverse

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Lesotho; Country directors - Lesotho; Writing - Lesotho



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