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How a Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and a Third World Adventure Changed My Life

Written by Eve Brown-WaiteAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Eve Brown-Waite


List Price: $9.99


On Sale: April 14, 2009
Pages: 224 | ISBN: 978-0-7679-3149-6
Published by : Broadway Books Crown/Archetype
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“Eve Brown-Waite writes as she lives – with verve and humor and a fine sense of the absurd.”  --  Martin Troost, author of Lost on Planet China
   Eve Brown’s dream is to join the Peace Corps … and maybe solve world hunger and win a Nobel Peace Prize along the way. But she secretly fears she isn’t tough enough to survive the bug-infested jungle, much less life without toilet paper and decaf cappuccino.  Then she falls head-over-little-black-heels in love with John--a dashing Peace Corps recruiter whose do-gooder passions outshine her own. She becomes more determined than ever to get into the Peace Corps – and to win John’s heart in the process.             

   Assigned to Ecuador, she yearns for warm showers and cold beers (instead of the other way around!) .  And though she occasionally  finds herself overwhelmed  by her work  reuniting homeless children with their families,  she  learns to delight in small successes.  But a year into her service, a tragedy befalls one of her fellow volunteers which unearths troubling memories from Eve’s past and causes her to return, rather unceremoniously, to the US.   Back home, Eve attempts to settle down with John and get reacquainted with the joys of sushi and supermarkets.  But faster than she can say “pass the malaria pills,” John accepts a job with CARE in a remote corner of Africa and Eve gets a second chance to test her mettle in the Third World. 

   With uproarious wit and candor, Eve Brown-Waite details the (mis)adventures that ensue.  From intestinal parasites and guerrilla warfare, to culture clashes, and unexpected friendships, First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria captures the thrills and absurdities of global humanitarian life in a story any globetrotter - armchair or otherwise - will love.
Eve Brown-Waite

About Eve Brown-Waite

Eve Brown-Waite - First Comes Love, then Comes Malaria
EVE BROWN-WAITE was a finalist for both an Iowa Review Award and a Glimmer Train Award, and the first runner up for the 2008 New Millennium Writings Award for stories she wrote about her time abroad. She lives with her husband and two children in Massachusetts.


“Eve Brown-Waite writes as she lives—with verve and humor and a fine sense of the absurd."
—J. Maarten Troost, author of Lost on Planet China

"A must, must, must read. You will laugh, laugh, laugh at this account of how you can do good and laugh away your stress all at the same time."
—Loretta LaRoche, author of Kick Up Your Heels Before You're Too Short to Wear Them

"Eve Brown-Waite had me at "Jambo." Her hilarious, charming, and honest memoir about evolving from someone who merely shops at Banana Republic to someone who wants to save banana republics is an un-putdownable must-read."
—Jenny Gardiner, author of Sleeping with Ward Cleaver

"Eve Brown takes you on a wild, engrossing, and totally unpredictable ride with laughs and tears along the way. A wonderful debut!"
—Mia King, author of Good Things

"First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria is infectious! Once you start it, you can't put it down."
—Eileen Cook, author of Unpredictable and What Would Emma Do?

“Proof positive that you CAN help the world, fall in love, survive malaria and a civil war AND laugh all at the same time. Eve Brown-Waite is a talented debut writer who’d better be writing a sequel because I want to know happens next!
—Gail Konop Baker, author of Cancer Is a Bitch: Or, I'd Rather be Having a Midlife Crisis

First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria
is a hilarious, smart, and compelling debut. Eve Brown-Waite vividly captures the ex-pat experience, the paradox of trying to save the world while desperately craving a cappuccino and proves that, in some locales, you can be “a little bit pregnant.” The result is a grand adventure, love story, and journey of self-discovery that you will not be able to put down."
—Danielle Younge-Ullman, author of Falling Under
Discussion Questions

Discussion Guides

1. Did Eve misrepresent herself to John during her Peace Corps interview? Why do you think John recommended her so highly? What qualities did she display at her interview and afterward that convinced him she was right for the job? Do you think he was right?

2. What do you think of John? Is the portrayal of "St. John" an honest portrait, or do you think he is an idealized character? What are his negative characteristics?

3. Despite Eve's reluctance to actually follow through with her Peace Corps plans, she does seem to handle the challenges of her Ecuadorian mission well, and derives sincere pleasure from being of service to the orphans she works with. Do you think her initial doubts are overblown? Does her commitment surprise her? Do you think she would have gone if not for John?

4. What lessons do you think Eve learned from her time in Ecuador? Do you think her Peace Corps experience helped her prepare for life in Uganda?

5. Before leaving for Uganda, Eve admits to Susan and Jean that she feels she needs to prove that she can survive a stint overseas. In fact, she remembers that she was the one to first suggest to John that they seek overseas jobs. Why do you think this need is so great? At what point do you think she has succeeded to her own satisfaction?

6. How do Eve and John relate to the expat community in Uganda? Do they have much in common? How much do they rely on their fellow expats? Is this a good support system? Why or why not?

7. Near the end of her stay in Uganda, Eve writes that Pauline would be proud of the "bush hostess" she's become. Would Pauline be proud? How closely do you think Eve follows in Pauline's footsteps as matron of the "big house"? Is it what Eve expected or hoped? Is it what Pauline expected? How are the two women different?

8. What do you make of the way Eve and John react to the very real dangers of Uganda: bombings, corruption, political unrest, and the hostage situation in their own home. Do you think they are too cautious or too blithe? Does their attitude change after the birth of their daughter?

9. After Sierra's birth, Eve admits her inner doubts about returning with a newborn to Uganda. In the end, she reasons that it's better to raise a child in an environment that is dangerous but nurturing, rather than one that is modern and convenient, but can be hectic and full of material distractions. Do you agree? Given the two extremes of New York and Uganda, which would you choose, and why?

10. Susan reminds Eve that "They have so little and we have so much." How does Eve deal with the income disparity in Uganda? How does she adapt to the reality of having hired "help"?

11. What about Eve's AIDS prevention work? Do you think she finds her few opportunities to contribute to be a source of satisfaction, or merely frustration? Objectively, do you think she has had a positive impact on her community? Why or why not?

12. Eve wonders whether Sierra will remember her early months in Arua. What impact, if any, do you think these experiences will have on Sierra's later life? Do you have memories of your earliest surroundings? Do you think they have had a significant impact on the person you've become?

13. What do you think of the style and tone of Eve's letters home? Does she withhold or exaggerate anything for the benefit of her friends and family? Which is a truer account: The letters she wrote at the time, or the memoir she wrote looking back?

14. After reading Eve's account, did your impressions of Ecuador or Uganda change? How do you think native Ecuadorians and Ugandans would react to Eve's descriptions of their country?

15. Did the book impact your opinion of the Peace Corps and similar organizations? How do you think you would handle the challenges of living in a developing country?

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