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Travel Read: 'First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria'
If you want to know what you're getting into with this book, the subtitle, "How a Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and a Third World Adventure Changed My Life" is a good clue. Though Brown-Waite's experiences of travels, service, and shenanigans in Ecuador and Uganda have a universal appeal, the memoir reads a bit like chick lit.
But that's not necessarily a bad thing. The book is immensely fast-paced, and the hijinx Brown-Waite gets into are both entertaining and fascinating. I only comment on the tone because you're going to have to page through a lot of schlock about how much she loves her husband -- but it's worth it. The book grows along with the progress of the author, and really takes off around the time she finds her first calling in Ecuador -- returning lost boys from a local orphanage to their homes in other towns, a seemingly simple task that no one had thought to do or had the organizational support to do. The book is delightful, funny, and very touching at times.
First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria follows Brown-Waite, alternating narrative with actual letters she sent back to the States, through marriage and a bumpy pregnancy in Uganda, intestinal parasites, termites, a hostage situation, bombings, and, as you might guess, malaria -- always with an upbeat grin and a wink.
This is the perfect read for any young woman you know who is on the Peace Corps track or is considering any kind of 3rd world work. And for those of us who are really more on the manicures-and-cocktails-in-New-York track? Well, I found it pretty darn entertaining.
Available in Hardcover and for Kindle on Amazon.com.