BOOK REVIEW:

In Search of the Elusive Peace Corps Moment ~ Destination: Estonia

By Douglas Wells

 

Ever wonder how Estonia looks through the eyes of a foreigner? In his new book "In Search of the Elusive Peace Corps Moment ~ Destination: Estonia" author Douglas Wells, shares his stories and perception experienced from 1992 to 1996 while serving as a US Peace Corps Volunteer on Hiiumaa Island.

"Douglas is a talented humorist, reminiscent of noted American outdoor writer Patrick McManus. His modesty and self-deprecating humor keep his stories, which are deadly accurate, from being cruel….His stories ring true because he spent time in Estonia, living with ordinary people, sharing their daily lives, learning about Estonian history and culture and trying to do his best as a Peace Corps Volunteers"
Members of the Estonian Parliament, Tunne and Mari Ann Kelam

Whether telling about a simple ride on overcrowded city buses, driving a car across a frozen Baltic Sea from Hiiumaa to Haapsalu, or being stalked by an overzealous traffic cop armed with a radar gun received as humanitarian aid from Texas, Wells seems to hone in on the unique aspects of Estonian society and character that define the culture. While his commentary is often comical, his unique sense of irony and self-deprecating style enable even the most nationalistic Estonians to laugh along without feeling offended.

Wells, is perhaps best known for having recovered the Emmaste church bell. In December 1994 Wells located the lost bell which had been buried during World War II to keep it out of the hands of those who sought to melt it down into ammunition. While Wells has no Estonian heritage he learned the Estonian language well enough to write a song in Estonian, Kas Sa Räägid Inglise Keelt, which held the number 1 spot on the Estonian Pop charts for 4 weeks in 1994.

While Douglas Wells was truly blessed with some extraordinary experiences during his stay on Hiiumaa, it is his keen observations, tremendous sense of irony, and his own personal angst about being an American behind the recently crumbled iron curtain that make this book truly a heartwarming and hilarious treat for the reader.

“In Search of the Elusive Peace Corps Moment ~ Destination: Estonia” by Douglas Wells is now available from Xlibris Press or just use the search engines.

 

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