Younger Than That Now: A book review by Bob Drake
"I was the one volunteer," Michael Moran states in Younger Than That Now, "that the Peace Corps knew least about." In search of the most authentic Peace Corps experience possible, Moran began his quest by choosing the remote spiritual center of Boujad, Morocco, for his two-year sojourn as a teacher of English-as-Foreign Language. Moran's benign commencement in Boujad was replete with episodes familiar to all surviving MRPCVs: the competitive sport of international alms-giving, the daily exercise of street-urchin dodging, the natural simplicity of Moroccan plumbing, the nearly religious salvation of discovering rock 'n' roll on the radio and the humbling humor of the national pet-amoebae experience. Finally, the western world will come to understand that there is much more to the traditional Peace Corps experience than simply pitching a tent and digging a well.
After succumbing to the realities of The Eastern Way, Moran turned to the task-at-hand by absorbing himself in the duties of a teacher. It seemed that the mechanics of the profession would be sufficiently satisfying until Moran completed his first school year. On summer project in Northern Ireland, his path is crossed by one certain nubile, red-headed, alabaster-skinned Scottish woman who inserts a large wooden ladle into Michael's latent primal pot and stirs with all the gusto of a gigantic grinning Gertrude. Unable to avoid a clash with destiny, the two of them generate a pleasing procreative performance in the shadow of the Atlas Mountains. Fires blazing, they seduce each other until all of the firewood in Boujad is consumed. The embers lay sparkling in the moonlit streets.
Relationships such as this merit the immortalization they attain for the benefit of the lasting reflections they cast upon the pool of life. Through the re-examination of the images, a curious reader will find lessons to be taken for their own life. What is life without the memory of a well-learned lesson?
Place this book upon your nightstand or hide it under your cushion of the couch. Pick it up when you want to reflect on your personal experience. Enjoy it one chapter at a time, in private places during the time you reserve for yourself. As sure as the sun rises in the east, this book will all-too-soon be finished. It will be "like kissing a mirror good-bye."
Younger Than That Now (0-9631597-8-X) is still available. One can purchase a signed copy ($15, includes shipping and handling) at FullCourt Press; PO Box 12641; San Antonio, TX 78212. It is also possible to obtain the book through amazon.com
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