December 11, 2003 - Boondocks Net: The Village of Waiting by Togo RPCV George Packer

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Togo: Peace Corps Togo : The Peace Corps in Togo: December 11, 2003 - Boondocks Net: The Village of Waiting by Togo RPCV George Packer

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The Village of Waiting by Togo RPCV George Packer

The Village of Waiting by Togo RPCV George Packer

Profound in its Simplicity

George Packer's ability to describe the lives of many who live in Togo make this piece of text a must-read for all, even for those who do not have an interest in serving in the Peace Corps. He writes with raw emotion and sincerity, without a tad of pretense. I'd say that Packer's foremost accomplishment in this text is that he makes no attempt to tell a story about how a superior white individual intervenes in a remote village and rids the residents of poverty and illiteracy. Rather, The Village of Waiting is a sincere account of his realization that sadly, some things just cannot be altered. I think Packer knew this from the outset, but it is interesting to read about he endures this realization during his 2-year service in Togo.

Rating: - Incredible
Haunting--this book is raw and hontest. I can't get it off my mind. Will be visiting friends doing VSO in northern Ghana soon and am trying to get a copy for them as well.

Rating: - Togo: still crazy after all these years
I read a tattered, much passed around copy of Village of Waiting in my Peace Corps house in a village not far from George Packer's. I just returned in October 2001. Hard to imagine that after nearly twenty years, so much of what Packer wrote about Togo has not changed very much. . . Togo still waits. When people ask me about Togo, I'm still not sure what to say. I imagine Packer is still unsure. All I can say is that it is easy to give up on Togo, quite another thing to give up on its people. Packer's reflections of life in Lavie provide a lot of insight into the life of a Peace Corps Volunteer. This is a book that many PCVs either love or hate. Although it must be said that they seem to hate it when they arrive in Togo, and love it if they read or re-read it later, especially after leaving Togo. Many PCVs have complained that he was too soft, and couldn't handle it, but it is my impression that Packer really understood his reality and that is what made it so hard for him to handle it everyday. He understood the absurdity and hardship, and did not romanticize it. It made him angry. I know how he felt. I often wondered about the characters in Packer's book, as I zoomed through Lavie on my way up-country. Luckily, this new print has some follow-up on the many characters of his village.

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Story Source: Boondocks Net

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Togo; Writing - Togo



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