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?

Pretreatment In Action

SKU 978-1-61599-594-3
$24.95
Interactive Exploration from Homelessness to Housing Stabilization
In stock
1
Product Details

Jay Levy's Pretreatment In Action: Interactive Exploration from Homelessness to Housing Stabilization provides the reader with a wonderfully crafted, detailed step-by-step manual with real-world scenarios on how Pretreatment and the Stages of Engagement play out in the actual work. The vignettes are rich with descriptions that clearly come from a deep repertoire of experience working in the field that gives the reader confidence they are being guided by someone who has been in their shoes. The thoughtful questions and space to reflect add a helpful workbook touch to the feel of the text, and matches the grittiness of the material being covered.

The reader will...

  • Understand the 5 principles of a Pretreatment Model through their application to real-life scenarios that depict the world of homelessness, trauma and loss.
  • Learn how to utilize Pretreatment Assessment and interventions to promote the engagement process and safety with highly vulnerable people.
  • Effectively integrate the stages of Common Language Development with one's own practice of outreach and engagement with under-served persons.
  • Experience through interactive exercises and reflecting on case illustrations the importance of facilitating the meaning-making process with both staff and clients.
  • Discover an innovative approach to staff supervision based on the integration of Pretreatment principles with Psychologically Informed Environments (PIE) and Open Dialogue approaches to helping

"Pretreatment In Action by Jay S. Levy, MSW is a landmark accomplishment. For those who do street outreach and street medicine, Jay has provided a much-needed framework for navigating the largely undefined terrain of therapeutic relationships with those experiencing unsheltered homelessness."
--Dr. Jim Withers- Medical Director and Founder of the Street Medicine Institute, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh

"By using case studies and reflective exercises, Jay Levy has created a highly readable and accessible guide to working with people who are street homeless. Levy's enthusiasm for the work shines through on each page; he does not shy away from complexity, and the stories and situations he describes are as relevant in the UK as in his native USA.",
--Dr. Jenny Drife- START Homeless Outreach Team, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Advisor to the Royal College of Psychiatrists on homelessness and mental health

"Levy draws on respected approaches including Motivational Interviewing, Narrative Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy. He integrates these into a clearly articulated practical approach that will also work with other significantly disadvantaged people living with trauma and marginalization."
--Rohena Duncombe, BA, BSW, MSWAP, Social work academic & researcher, Charles Sturt University, Australia

Learn more at www.JaySLevy.com

From Loving Healing Press

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