Carolyn Wilhelm reviews I Miss the Rain in Africa

Enlightening, emotional, eye-opening, extraordinary book

The author was first offered Belize for her Peace Corps Volunteer work, but ended up going to the north of Uganda at the mere age of sixty-four. Brave is an understatement, and I cannot imagine a more difficult assignment (although there are many war-torn areas in the world which would be tough). After the 20 year war which created millions of orphans and a generation of people who lost their way of life. HIV/AIDS was weaponized under Kony who also mutilated and killed thousands of people. How would it be possible to help the dire situation? So many needed so much help. Of the group of 46, 14 understandably left.

Yet, this amazing woman helped organize Peace Corps offices, libraries, project pillowcase for dresses, helping people get hearing aids, sponsoring a boy to attend school (and even remaining longer than two years as part of helping him), and sharing books in many situations. She accomplished so much more.

One story is about trying to buy one egg one day – a real trial. Going to the dentist required travel, leaving and returning through mud in the dark. Nothing was easy or routine. Every day there was a new challenge. Returning home also was rough as she returned to changing technology and had no house at that time.

I have always wondered about the Peace Corps and I Miss the Rain in Africa tells the truth about this person’s experience.

I was provided an ARC copy and my opinions are my own

Discussion questions for book clubs and secondary teachers

  1. Why did Wesson end up in Uganda? Where was she supposed to go at first? Do you think she realized how Peace Corps Volunteers would be housed? What is the name of chapter one, and why?
  2. How did the most recent war led by Kony leave the citizens with almost insurmountable problems? What were his weapons? Where is he now? Can you imagine living through such an ordeal?
  3. Given the situation of most of the people in northern Uganda, how do you think the Peace Corps Volunteers felt about how effective they could be at first? How did Wesson’s thoughts change near the end of the book as she reflected on her projects?
  4. Explain travel difficulties from the point of view of a Westerner in Uganda.
  5. Why was the southern part of Uganda so different from the north?
  6. Of the 46 volunteers, 34 remained after about a year. What do you think caused some people to leave? Was it understandable or not?
  7. How did the pillowcases project begin and develop? Did it surprise you that Wesson had to design her projects, such as the children’s library? Were you expecting the Peace Corps would have had job descriptions and just sent people to locations to fit into predetermined roles?
  8. How was time different in Africa? How were schedules for travel different?
  9. Discuss the story Wesson shared about getting dental help, traveling in the mud and dark on the way to and from the bus station.
  10. Why was returning home also a challenge? How had things changed? How had the author changed?

Mental Health Survival Kit and Withdrawal from Psychiatric Drugs

SKU 978-1-61599-619-3
$22.95
A User's Guide
In stock
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Product Details

This book can help people with mental health issues to survive and return to a normal life. Citizens believe, and the science shows, that medications for depression and psychosis and admission to a psychiatric ward are more often harmful than beneficial. Yet most patients take psychiatric drugs for years. Doctors have made hundreds of millions of patients dependent on psychiatric drugs without knowing how to help them taper off the drugs safely, which can be very difficult. The book explains in detail how harmful psychiatric drugs are and gives detailed advice about how to come off them.

You will learn:

  • why you should not see a psychiatrist if you have a mental health issue
  • that psychiatric drugs are addictive
  • that the biggest lie in psychiatry is the one about a chemical imbalance being the cause of psychiatric disorders
  • that psychiatric diagnoses are unscientific and that doctors disagree widely when making diagnoses
  • that psychiatric drugs can lead to permanent brain damage
  • that psychiatric drugs should never be stopped abruptly because withdrawal reactions can be dangerous
  • why psychotherapy and other psychosocial interventions should be preferred over drugs
  • why you should generally not believe what doctors tell you about psychiatric disorders and their treatment
  • why volunteers have found the book so important that they have translated it into French, Portuguese and Spanish

"Peter Gøtzsche's new book meets patients' need to get tools on how to deal with psychoactive drugs and, above all, not to start them. Gøtzsche is very clear about the role of GPs in medicalizing grief, misfortune, opposition, and bad luck." -- Dick Bijl, former GP, epidemiologist, and current president of the International Society of Drug Bulletins.

"Peter Gøtzsche has written a very personal account of his battle to get the institution of psychiatry to accept that its drugs are not the 'magic pills' they are made out to be. Every medical practitioner who prescribes them, and every person who takes them, should read this book and be warned." -- Niall McLaren, author of Anxiety: The Inside Story

"Peter Gøtzsche wrote this book to help people with mental health problems survive and return to a normal life. His book explains in detail how psychiatric drugs are harmful and people are told how they can safely withdraw from them." -- Fernando Freitas, PhD, Psychologist, National School of Public Health (ENSP/FIOCRUZ). Co-editor of Mad in Brazil

Learn more at www.scientificfreedom.dk

From the Institute for Scientific Freedom

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