Join us for an informal book discussion of African Visas by Maria Thomas and to eat some great Ethiopian food at Cafe Romanat near the Grand Lake theater in Oakland. As usually everyone is encouraged to come, whether you have read the book or not, want to find out what others thought of it, or want to hang out with some fellow RPCVs or become an RPCV. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, so I can make reservations at the restaurant and know how many to expect.
Here is a bit about the book: In the tradition of Dinesen and Markham, Thomas writes about adventurous women in Africa, Ethiopia in particular. "Jiru Road," the novella in this collection, is a first-person account of Sarah's life in the Peace Corps. Sarah, or Shoulders as she comes to be called, is a young woman who wants "to avoid conscription into American life." Instead, she helps build a road to nowhere in the Horn of Africa, a road that helps the people of her village stave off hunger for a while longer. Thomas has an ear for dialog and a facility for capturing that sense of living between two worlds: life in a small African village, and life back in the United States. The stories also capture the wonderful feeling of Africa: the beauty--the villages with their conical roofs, the men with their lovely almond eyes--along with the horror: lepers and mangy dogs, and a continent on the verge of starvation. This book is being published posthumously; Thomas died on a relief mission to Ethiopia in 1988.
And a review of the restaurant: “One of the best Ethiopian restaurants in the Bay area. And they have gluten free injara! (the sourdough tortilla- like bread you eat with)”