Tag Archives: peace corps

Kang’ethe and the Matatu

Jake ran, his feet treading on a soft cushion of dew-covered grass, down a narrow goat path bordered by heavily pruned pencil cedar trees. Ahead, clad as always in his worn gray suit coat and pants, Mzee Kang’ethe outpaced Jake, easily widening the distance between them. Kang’ethe was 72 years old and smoked 2 packs of Sportsman cigarettes every day. Jake was exactly fifty years younger and had never smoked in his life, yet he struggled to keep up with the older man. Continue reading Kang’ethe and the Matatu

Book Review: The Emperor and the Elephants

Upscale Shack readers will recall my 2014 review of Dr. Richard Carroll’s first book 2000 Miles around the Tree of Life, which recorded the author’s experiences hiking the Appalachian Trail from start to finish in the mid 1970’s. In his latest book, The Emperor and the Elephants (ISBN: 1935925709), Carroll recalls his Peace Corps service in the Central African Empire (today known as the Central African Republic, or CAR), in the late 1970’s, and his subsequent years working as a conservationist in Central Africa .

Continue reading Book Review: The Emperor and the Elephants

Chapter 8: Bombshells

Okay fans, this is the long awaited next segment of For Tomorrow. This isn’t a full chapter, just a short but necessary scene. 

Remember to read the previous chapters 1,2, 3456 and 7

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. All characters are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual people, alive or dead, is purely coincidental.

Fueled by adrenaline, Jake pushed his old Jeep to the limit for the first ten miles after the diner incident. When no motorcycle headlights appeared in his rear-view mirror he finally slowed down and breathed a sigh of relief. Old country songs on the scratchy AM radio kept him company as the miles rolled by. Continue reading Chapter 8: Bombshells

Chapter 7: Extensions

Next installment of “For Tomorrow.” This is another flashback to Jake and Wakesho’s days in Kenya. 

Remember to read the previous chapters 1,2, 345, and 6

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. All characters are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual people, alive or dead, is purely coincidental.

“Can’t you have one of your girlfriends do this?” Jake complained, shaking his hands to try to restore feeling to his fingertips.

“They all want money. Or they say they’re too busy. Besides, I like the way you do it, you’re very gentle,” Wakesho said.

She was sitting on the floor on a foam cushion from Jake’s sofa with her head between Jake’s knees as Jake sat on a stool from his kitchen. They were on the front porch of Jake’s house facing the ocean, watching the tide come in. Continue reading Chapter 7: Extensions

Chapter 6: Reunions

Next installment of “For Tomorrow”. Back to the present time, picking up where Chapter 4 left off. Remember to read the previous chapters 1, 2, 34, and 5.

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. All characters are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual people, alive or dead, is purely coincidental.

“Hello?”

“Jake?”

“Yeah, this is Jake, who is this?”

“Hey bwana, it’s Mike. Habari ya siku nyingi?” (How have you been for so long?) Continue reading Chapter 6: Reunions

Chapter 5: Waves

In this installment we flashback to see Jake and Wakesho in happier times in Kenya. Remember to read the previous chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4. Oh, and in case you were wondering, for the non-Swahili speakers, Wakesho is pronounced “wah-KAY-show.”

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. All characters are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual people, alive or dead, is purely coincidental.

“Let’s go to the Seychelles for our honeymoon.” Wakesho had been flipping through a travel brochure, and now pointed to a picture of a white sandy beach and an impossibly blue ocean.

“Babe, I’ve been living on the beach for the past two years, I could use a change of scenery. Why not someplace like Cape Town? We could do a winery tour and go hiking in the mountains. Or what about Morocco? I’ve always wanted to see the Atlas Mountains.” Continue reading Chapter 5: Waves

Chapter 4: The Potato River

Busy day here at the shack. It’s our one month anniversary, and a musical Friday, but since it’s a special day I’m treating my readers to the next installment of “For Tomorrow.” If you’re rusty on where things left off, be sure to read the first 3 chapters: A Cape Catharsis, Fish Traps, and The Just Friends Trap. As always, commentary and feedback is welcome, use the Leave a Reply box below to post a comment or post and “like” us on our sister Facebook page.  

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. All characters are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual people, alive or dead, is purely coincidental. 

Jake gathered his supplies from the lab and fed his fish before driving the three blocks to Alex’s house. He was several minutes early and he noticed that her car wasn’t parked on the street in its usual spot, so he circled around the block to kill a few minutes until she returned. When he came back and saw that her car still wasn’t there he pulled up and parked anyway, deciding to wait. He recognized her roommate Kate trying to shovel the snow from behind her car with a broom, so he took the shovel out of his truck and began clearing the driveway behind Kate’s car. Continue reading Chapter 4: The Potato River