Friday, January 10, 2014

Mission Boys

Written on the back, "Some of the stuff we work with: Remy and Florian and Michael-who, with Raphael the Novice, make a quartet that is hard to beat intellectually and spiritually-in India.  ASPS  22/8/53"

I'm not real big on missionaries.  Yes, I do understand that many of them provide health care, food, and education in countries where many people go without those things.  But the way I figure it, if someone wants to switch religions, they'll do it without outside interference.  

Anyway, I'd like to recommend a book.  Head Hunting In the Solomon Islands by Caroline Mytinger.  And no, it's not what you think.  It's a very vintage, probably out of print, travel book about two young American women who bum their way to the south seas, earning money painting portraits of the local colonial grandees so that they can also paint portraits of the native islanders.  (At least Caroline paints.  Her companion Margret plays the ukulele.)  The book has it's fair share of racial and ethnic insensitivity, par for the course for a book written in the 1930s and published in 1942, but it also has some interesting insights on the British colonials, and their odd sense that the islands and their peoples were property to be used and exploited as needed.   I'd check thrift shops and used book stores.  So much more satisfying than Amazon.  Remember, Jeff Bezos is not your friend.  

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