História, História by Eleanor Stanford
Amazon.com: Kindle Edition
For Book Beginnings:
We landed on the island of Sal on a July afternoon. We had been flying over unbroken ocean for hours, and suddenly we were descending, despite the fact that there was no land in view. - p. 6
For Friday 56:
Women’s creativity in Cape Verde is largely defined by preparing meals and giving birth. The batuki serves both to defy and to reinforce women’s traditional roles. On the night before a wedding, the bride’s friends and women relatives put on a batuki circle for her. The advice they give her is both ancient and immediate, pragmatic, bawdy, some of it codified in lyrics, the rest improvised.
Call and response, call and response. The leader lifts off on a wing of words. Oh, men, what are they good for? They give us children then they leave. Men are shiftless, men are weak. She riffs amid a scattering of cheers and laughter. Look at us women, we raise the children, we plant the corn, we harvest, we draw the water from the well. - p. 56
Synopsis from Amazon.com: Twenty-two and newly married, Eleanor Stanford and her husband join the Peace Corps and find themselves on the West African islands of Cape Verde. In this beautifully alien place, as she teaches her students and struggles to come to terms with the island's fascinating yet frustrating culture, Eleanor watches everything she knows about relationships get flipped upside-down and attempts to hide the eating disorder she's developed, which threatens both her marriage and her life. Part travelogue, part cultural documentary, História, História combines journalistic excellence with the gripping style of personal memoirs to bring you this lyrical, moving portrait of an enchanting, little-glimpsed geography. Fans of factually informative and emotionally moving nonfiction will be drawn towards this haunting meditation on love, fidelity and self-image.
I don't know anything about Cape Verde and on the role of women, I found the phrase "Men are shiftless, men are weak" quite true in the context of childbirth! :)