Here is a story I wrote based (very) loosely on experiences in Burkina Faso, as a development worker with the US Peace Corps. It was the second story I managed to have published (Other Voices Vol 18; No 43; Fall/Winter 2005). Click here for the pdf: Down to the Heavens
Here is the opening paragraph:
As the plane began its descent, I surveyed my new home. Browns. Nothing but browns. The olive brown of dust-choked bushes and the ocher of windswept fields. Mostly, though, Mali took its color from the russet brown of scorched laterite. Brown is not a good sign at the tail end of the rain season. This is usually true in Nebraska, always true in a land of subsistence farmers. Green is what you need to feed a family. Looking down at that forbidding environment, thinking of the people there, I tried to imagine what life would have been like if I’d been born in their place. From 7,000 feet, it was a land of thin lives: a narrow existence.