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As a young woman, Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen set out to join the Peace Corps in hopes of bringing change to Tanzania. Instead, she says, the nation she went to changed her
1413,209~22484~1935365,00.html, As a young woman, Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen set out to join the Peace Corps in hopes of bringing change to Tanzania. Instead, she says, the nation she went to changed her
Children's author visits Redlands on her Southern California tour
Author Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen, who lives on Midway Island, talked about her experiences there and read from her books when she visited the Frugal Frigate bookstore.
By the Daily Facts
REDLANDS Author and activist Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen visited the Frugal Frigate bookstore Tuesday, Feb. 3, to talk about her experiences living on Midway Island and read from her books. Stuve-Bodeen serves as a volunteer on the island, which today is a preserve for wildlife.
Stuve-Bodeen has always been involved in global philanthropy. As a young woman, she set out to join the Peace Corps in hopes of bringing change to a developing nation. Instead, she says, the nation she went to changed her.
Stuve-Bodeen was stationed in Tanzania, a place she calls "a land of extremes" and a difficult place in which to live. She says she had never been so thirsty, cold, lonely and sick as she was during her stay in Tanzania.
"This kind of adversity causes a person to evaluate their very core, something that does not happen very often in America," she said.
The best of part of the country was the people, whom Stuve-Bodeen says inspired feelings of love.
"In Tanzania, family is so important that every else is secondary," she said.
One week spent with a particular Tanzanian family was the inspiration for Stuve-Bodeen's first children's book, "Elizabeti's Doll," about a young Tanzanian girl named Elizabeti. Upon the arrival of her new baby brother, Elizabeti decides she needs a doll she can care for the way her mother cares for the new baby.
Stuve-Bodeen has written a series of books about Elizabeti's life in Tanzania including "Mama Elizabeti" and "Elizabeti's School." Her newest release, "Babu's Song," was released in the spring of 2003. It is about the relationship between a young boy and his grandfather. She is also promoting a short story that she wrote, which is appearing in the book "Memories of Sun" edited by Jane Kurtz.
Stuve-Bodeen holds a degree from the University of Wisconsin. She is a former teacher and now lives with her family on Midway Atoll, where her husband serves as manager of the wildlife preserve there. They live with 20 other volunteers on the island, which is inhabited by many gooney birds and other animals.
Her two-week tour includes speaking at various schools throughout Southern California. She has also just competed her first novel for adults, called "Every Second Tuesday."