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Beth was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zaire — which today is the Democratic Republic of Congo — teaching English, geography and philosophy at a state-run high school. At night, she would write by kerosene lantern about life in Kamponde: the weddings and funerals, the gossip and politics; the joys and frustrations of teaching; the diamonds and pythons and palm wine. And she wrote about the unrelenting kindness shown a young woman so far from home. It was here that Beth found her voice. She was determined to become a journalist and pledged to return and write about them all one day.
She did. Twice. Her first story was in 1996; her
second in 2006. She intends to return one last time in 2019 to finish the final chapter of her memoir about her nearly 40-year love affair with this small village.
Beth successfully funded a Kickstarter Campaign in 2016 to take a trip back to Kamponde to learn how the last chapter of her memoir will unfold. The trip was twice postponed due to political unrest and violence in the region. She is now traveling in September 2019 with a filmmaker for a possible documentary about this lifelong journey.
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