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Kris Holloway was in the Peace Corps when she was sent to a small village in West Africa named Nampossela, where she met a woman named Monique Dembele. They became very close during Kris‘ time in Mali and after Monique‘s death Kris decided to honor her by writing a book, Monique and the Mango Rains, about the time they spent together and their many adventures It’s clear in Kris’ writing and the way she spoke about her that she still has a deep respect for the amazing person that Monique was.
I was unable to make it to Kris’ appearance, but anyone could tell just by listening to her that she loved Monique and the people she met in Mali dearly and that her time there greatly impacted her life. Monique and the Mango Rains is a personal narrative about Monique Dembele. She lived in a small village called Nampossela and was the midwife and health care worker for her village and many surrounding areas.
In the book, Kris speaks of many challenges and breakthroughs her and Monique experienced. One challenge that stood out throughout the book was the language barrier that Kris was trying to overcome. She had thought going into Mali that French was the dominant language, but she ended up having to learn Bambara. the village’s language. In the postscript of the book Kris speaks of Mali’s breakthroughs and how she knows Monique would’ve been a part of them. ”I think she would’ve been thrilled with Mali’s stint as a democracy and with the growth in the number of women’s groups that address girls’ education, maternal and child health, and female genital cutting.
She would have been a part of this big change.”
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