Coming Soon… The Bush Devil Ate Sam— and Other Tales of a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia, West Africa

Cover for book by Curtis Mekemson.

It’s countdown time here at the Mekemson household. The Bush Devil Ate Sam will be available worldwide as an E-book by the end of they year. Below is a promotion piece I’ve written for the book.

 

Scruffy soldiers with guns pointed in all directions were scattered around my yard when I returned from teaching. “What’s up?” I asked in a shaky voice. Liberian soldiers were scary.

     “Your dog ate one of the Superintendent’s guinea fowl,” the sergeant growled. The Superintendent was the governor of Bong County. Apparently, he was quite fond of his fowl birds. But Boy, the perpetrator of the crime, didn’t belong to me— and he regarded my cat Rasputin as dinner.

     “Why don’t you arrest him,” I suggested helpfully. “Not him. You!” the sergeant roared.

In 1965 I left the chaotic world of UC Berkeley and the student revolution of the mid 60s to become a Peace Corps Volunteer in the even stranger world of Liberia, West Africa. The Bush Devil Ate Sam is the story of my experience. When I arrived, descendants of freed slaves from America ruled the country with an iron grip while the tribal people were caught in a struggle between modern culture and ancient Africa.

I quickly discovered that being a Peace Corps Volunteer was anything but dull. Army ants invaded our house. Students snacked on squirming termites for breakfast, and the young man who worked for me, announced that the scars running down his chest were the teeth marks of the Poro Bush Devil.

On the teaching front, my seniors took top national honors in social studies, but the national government determined that a student government I had created to teach students about democracy was a threat to Liberia’s one party state. I was told my students would be arrested and I should pack my bags.

These are only the beginning of the tales you will find in The Bush Devil Ate Sam.

Half of the profits from this book will be donated to Friends of Liberia, a nonprofit organization that has been in existence since 1980 and is made up of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, people who have served on missions in Liberia, experts on international development, and Liberians. In addition to supporting the fight against Ebola, the goal of the organization is “to positively affect Liberia by supporting education, social, economic and humanitarian programs.”

28 comments on “Coming Soon… The Bush Devil Ate Sam— and Other Tales of a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia, West Africa

  1. Can’t wait for the release of the book! Have to wait for the ‘real’ thing as we aren’t into eBooks due to the exhorbitant cost of them in France. Please let us know when the ink has dried.

    • Thanks, AC. That I will. Guaranteed. 🙂 I’ll have printed copies that I can mail out. I’ll list how to get them when I kick off my campaign after Christmas or early in the New Year. Also, a number of different E-book sites will be listed, including sites that serve Europe and may be less expensive. –Curt

    • Thanks Cindy. I don’t remember if you helped in selecting the name, but a number of the folks who follow my blog participated in the process. And I really think the graphic artist did a great job on the cover. –Curt

    • Thanks Carrie. My Liberia Peace Corps experience has served me well all my life. Donating back is a small thing. And FOL is a very good organization. 95% of its income goes back into Liberia. –Curt

  2. I have tried to buy ebooks and have the hardest time reading them. I just miss having a real book in my hands so much. But I will revisit this idea with your book. Congratulations on the launch.

    • I’ll have the printed version that people will be able to order from me. They are supposed to come in next week. I will post details after the holidays as I start my campaign in the New Year. I already have several orders from friends and family. (grin) And thanks. –Curt

  3. I really can’t wait to read this. That’s so wonderful to donate half of the profits to an organization like that. Wishing you lots of future celebrations!

    • Thanks Sheila. Liberia was a wonderful experience for me. And it has suffered so much. It was finally on the road to recovery following the civil wars and then Ebola struck. FOL is a good organization, so if I can help… –Curt

  4. Looking forward to the book Curt, and your donation of half the profits is very generous. All of Africa, and west Africa in particular, can use all the help it can get. Best of luck with the book and Happy Holidays to you and Peggy. ~James

    • We’ll see about the book. While I wrote a couple of others in relation to my work, this is the first time I have ventured out on my own. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get lucky. But heather I do or not the experience has been worth it.

      Curt

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