Disease and hunger are the biggest health threats to people in Africa. The continent has suffered war, ethnic conflicts and political chaos, giving rise to poverty and leaving thousands of people in Africa vulnerable to diseases like Tuberculosis, Aids and Malaria.
Working abroad in ethnic conflict zones and refugees centers in other countries, is tiring, difficult and demanding. Among other Peace Corps volunteers who respond to various needs that impact Africa’s development in Ivory Coast, was Raven Moore. Based on her experience in the political turmoil country, Raven published a remarkable book titled “Padre.”
Described as ‘that missing voice from Generation X’ by Roger Muntu from Voice of America, Raven fashions you front row seats to the ride of a lifetime. She is a cultural, nonfiction writer, tyrannosaurus rex (roar!) and her narration of the lives of Ivoirians during her two years living in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) West Africa, as a Peace Corps volunteer, makes you fall in love with this story and laugh out loud when you least expect it.
How do Ivoirians define color, class, gender, sexuality, religion, and more, differently than you or I do? Padre! will enthrall you, surprise you, entertain you, and give you a profound, new view of the world that will help you to navigate it better at any level.
At Georgetown University, Raven Moore majored in Japanese and minored in Spanish. In her junior year, she studied abroad for one year in Tokyo at Keio University. After graduation, she volunteered in the Peace Corps in Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa for two years. After Peace Corps, she went back to Japan to teach English for two years in Hokkaido and then became a Japanese translator. But, the Peace Corps was the most powerful experience in her life and she knows most RPCVs (Returned Peace Corps Volunteers) would say the same.
“It’s an experience that affects the rest of your life and you always want to continue helping others at as large a scale as possible forever after. RPCVs go on to work for the government, non-profit organizations, start non-profits, make documentaries about other countries, or some don’t even come back. They stay, maybe get married where they are, and take jobs like USAID or other greater volunteer work,” says Raven.
She went on further to explain, writing true stories about identity in different countries, for me, became the most important way of helping others because understanding identity is so critical to all manner of relationships on micro and macro levels. How do Ivoirians, people from Cote d’Ivoire, create color, class, sexuality, gender, religious identity, or political identity, differently than you or I do? And, how can we start to enjoy learning about other cultures in a way that enables us to find better ways to work together? This is what my books are all about. You learn a lot and the writing is so rich that you feel like you’re in the middle of a great movie.
The only way to understand the plight and suffering of children is to be with them. That’s exactly what Raven witnessed. That’s what makes this story unique and ‘Padre’ highly recommended book.