Review of Monique and the Mango Rains Monique and the Mango Rains is a memoir about a friendship that develops between Kris Holloway, and a midwife in the village of Nampossela, Mali. Kris Holloway served in the Peace Corps and was assigned for 2 years to be stationed in Mali. Kris was trained to “give health demonstrations, repair wells, build fuel-conserving stoves, plant trees, and protect the shoots from the ever hungry mouths of goats” (11). Kris meets and assists Monique Dembele in her struggle to improve health care for the women of this village and surrounding areas. Monique, having apprenticed for two years as a midwife, and studied for nine months in a health services program, is the only health worker in the village. She
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The most troubling threat to the women was spousal abuse. “The lantern light was dim, but I could see that one side was swollen, her eye half closed with puffy tissue. She met my stare, lowered her gaze, and quickly draped the scarf back over” (51). The practice of arranged marriage usually led to close-knit families in Nampossela, but Korotun's defiance by marrying against her family's wishes left her stranded without any relatives to turn to in her time of need. Another danger to women that existed was rape. “He forced you? Yes, she shrugged. It was painful and then it was over” (130). Holloway finds it difficult to tell her friend of her own similar memory. Despite the difference in the ways these two address this subject of rape, it is heartbreaking that women from two completely different worlds are able to find a common ground in the act of rape. All of these risks to the women of Mali happen to the women in America as well. And shows that even from two different worlds, it seems things are not so different.
No culture is superior or inferior to any other. Kris had to accept the differences about Mali without judging them or believing that her culture was the right way things should be done. Kris knew it was wrong and against women’s basic human rights to have their genital’s cut. Monique couldn’t believe that Kris hadn’t had her genitals cut. “I have never met a women like you,