Friday, April 20, 2007

Sweet Teeth and Loose Bowels by Michael S Gerber

Against a backdrop set in countries such as Somalia and Ethiopia, it is packed with humourous and sceptical accounts of topics including life as a 'do-gooder' in the Peace Corps, corruption, debt relief, African governments, refugees, transportation, food and disparities between extreme wealth and poverty.

In the 1970's Dr. Michael S Gerber was selected to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer, living in the Philippines with his wife and three young sons and surviving on £110 a month. Twenty eight years later, having lived and worked in many of the poorest countries in Africa and Asia, he retired as a Director General of the Kenya-based African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) - the largest non-governmental health organisation on the African Continent. It also operates the world famous Flying Doctors.

One morning, on the outskirts of Nairobi, a Kenyan policeman stopped a driver at the side of the road. "Sir, you committed a crime. When you passed that lorry, your vehicle crossed a solid white line." The road in question was a single carriageway full of pot holes, with no markings on it, white or otherwise. The poorly paid police would receive wages at the end of the month, if at all. Invisible white lines were a good way to shake down motorists for extra cash. One should have known better than to cross an invisible white line, as the month was coming to a close.

About the author: Since 1968, Dr. Michael S Gerber has been involved in some of the least developed countries around the world. Now retired, he donates his time as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), a non-governmental organisation working in Asia, Africa and Latin America. He lives in Portugal with his wife.

**A book signing session will take place at Magna Carta Bookshop on Sat May 26, between 11AM-1PM.**

The author will be donating all royalties he receives from sales of this book to a charity - The International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR).

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