November 29, 2003 - Amazon: Across African Sand: Journeys of a Witch-Doctor's Son-In-Law by Nepal RPCV Phil Deutschle

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Botswana: Peace Corps Botswana : The Peace Corps in Botswana: November 29, 2003 - Amazon: Across African Sand: Journeys of a Witch-Doctor's Son-In-Law by Nepal RPCV Phil Deutschle

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Saturday, November 29, 2003 - 12:38 pm: Edit Post

Across African Sand: Journeys of a Witch-Doctor's Son-In-Law by Nepal RPCV Phil Deutschle

Across African Sand: Journeys of a Witch-Doctor's Son-In-Law by Nepal RPCV Phil Deutschle

Across African Sand: Journeys of a Witch-Doctor's Son-In-Law
de Phil Deutschle

Notre prix : EUR 19,46 / 127,65 FF

Disponibilité : Disponible en 8 à 14 jours

Broché - 336 pages (février 2000)
Chroniques et points de vue

Mark L. Grover, Brigham Young Univ. Lib., Provo, UT
The author, an American-born teacher whose career has been primarily overseas, gives a lively recounting of nearly five years in southern Africa, in the village of Mapoka, Botswana. His stories provide an outsiders view of traditional African society and culture. A dangerous bicycle ride across the Kalahari and Namib deserts provides the framework for telling the story: as he bikes across 3000 miles of sand, dodging lions and elephants, Deutschle describes his life in Botswana through flashbacks. This method makes the book somewhat confusing and difficult to follow. Focusing more on life in Mapoka and less on the desert trip might have been better. Nonetheless this is recommended for public libraries with collections on travel and African culture.

ACROSS AFRICAN SAND is more than a fascinating adventure, it is a hero's journey. Phil Deutschle's journal shows how survival in extreme and potentially dangerous environments comes from consciously flowing with events, not trying to overcome them. Deutschle's account of taking a teaching position in Botswana, living with the people, his three month, 3000 mile bicycle trip through the Kalahari desert, and marrying a witch doctor's daughter, shows how adaptable persistence can carry a person through many ordeals. It also shows how a long struggle that engages all aspects of one's being--physical, emotional, and spiritual--can lead to unexpected personal transformation.

Hilary Bradt, publisher the BRADT TRAVEL GUIDES
Philip Deutschle is not an explorer in the conventional sense. Unlike other "adventurers" who treat places and their inhabitants as potential enemies, Phil sees them as allies. There are few other travel writers who can combine vivid descriptions of personal danger and physical endurance with a gentle appreciation of the people who are part of this seemingly hostile environment. An immensely rewarding book.

About the author
Phil Deutschle--having bicycled across Africa, climbed solo in the Himalayas, paddled by dugout canoe down the Congo River, and survived other such "pointlessly exciting ventures"--has been described in the international press as everything from a "laid-back American guide" to a "hyperactive exploring-mad psychopath." With a life spent working on five continents and traveling through 43 countries, he is truly a citizen of the world. During his travels he has learned a smattering of dozens of languages, most of them spoken, he confesses, with "appalling ineptitude."

A Peace Corp volunteer in Nepal in 1977-80, he wrote a book about his experiences there titled THE TWO YEAR MOUNTAIN. He has also appeared on a TV program about his African adventures.

He is presently living in Red Mesa, Arizona in the Navajo Nation, where he teaches science at an all-Navajo high school. He and his students recently won a national award for a science project. The majority of his students have no phone, no electricity, and no running water. Phil himself owns no television and no car (he has never owned either), but he does have a radio, a bicycle, and a pair of very battered running shoes. More than he could have imagined, he finds that he truly enjoys life as a single dad to his daughter, Teto. Their nearest supermarket is 50 miles away, and their local transportation is by bicycle, foot, and thumb. Hobbies include hiking, running, archeology, astronomy, and playing with Barbies. He is currently at work on his third book, a light-hearted account of travels with his young daughter through the Peruvian Andes and the upper Amazon.

He can be reached at

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Story Source: Amazon

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Nepal; COS - Botswana



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