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Imagine a white, 22-year-old college kid from Montana volunteering to serve in the Peace Corps with the intention of bringing knowledge and friendship to the developing world. That was me, along with the others who served with me in Tanzania for two years. At least, that was the idea.

I have to admit that I failed to fit the stereotype. The “wide-eyed, self-righteous do-gooder serving the noble cause”. See, I may very well be the only Peace Corps Volunteer in the history of the organization to sincerely, foolishly, and romantically propose marriage to a local girl, only to have her say no. Which is not only funny but cruel, considering that to the majority of Tanzanians, an American kid like me is their golden ticket to a better life.

Of course, that wasn’t all I did. I taught advanced chemistry at an all-girls school, kayaked my way into Zimbabwe, and learned just how little water a human being can survive on. I also spent a good chunk of time having outdoor adventures around East Africa. In my defense, I did accomplish a few useful things. My time in Peace Corps wasn’t a complete waste, so I decided to share my journey.

My goal with this book is to give a very raw, straightforward, analytical - but also humorous - picture of both what a typical Peace Corps experience is like, as well as offer some insight into the current conditions of life in East Africa. For kids who are thinking of joining the Peace Corps, laugh and learn. For other readers? Just laugh, at me or with me. It sure is better than crying about it.

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