The book I chose for Uganda was Tropical Fish, Tales from Entebbe by Doreen Baingana.
Such a good book! Well-written, great characters, a super solid sense of place; it’s everything you hope to find in a work of fiction, but so often don’t. I really enjoyed it, and highly recommend it.
The story is told through the viewpoints of three sisters. Their experiences of the world are all very different, but one common thread is that they are growing up during a time of conflict, doing the best they can to bring some normalcy to chaos. The setting is during Adi Amin’s rule, but the crazy-making by the people “in charge” could apply to anywhere, anytime.
Like now, for instance.
“The change was gradual and the result normal, like many other thing’s about Amin’s time, including the every day fear in the air. She remembered how everyone had laughed in astonishment then got used to it… Everyone adjusted to the upside-down week, the upside down life, including other unbelievable and ugly things she didn’t want to think about. The bad smell had become familiar.”
My choice for reading about Honduras: Don’t Be Afraid, Gringo by Elvia Alvarado.
I had a draft post all set up and ready to go, but I just scratched it.
I’m an American, living in the USA, with the government of my country stopping people from Honduras at our border right now, ripping their children away, with no regard or understanding for what brought them here.
So, especially fellow Americans, here’s a book that you should read. It’s a story, straight from the source, about life in Honduras and the struggles that women face everyday as they fight for a more equitable existence. It gives you a direct, unfiltered line to meet someone’s humanity, at a time when the powers-that-be are trying very hard to turn you away from that.
So you Americans who really want to help the poor have to change your own government first. You Americans who want to see an end to hunger and poverty have to take a stand. You have to fight just like we’re fighting—even harder. You have to be ready to be jailed, to be abused, to be repressed. And you have to have the character, the courage, the morale, and the spirit to confront whatever comes your way. – Elvia Alvarado