Read First Comes Love, then Comes Malaria: How a Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and a Third World Adventure Changed My Life by Eve Brown-Waite Online


In this laugh-out-loud funny memoir, a pampered city girl falls head over little black heels in love with a Peace Corps poster boy and follows him —literally–to the ends of the earth. Eve Brown always thought she would join the Peace Corps someday, although she secretly worried about life without sushi, frothy coffee drinks and air conditioning.  But with college diploma iIn this laugh-out-loud funny memoir, a pampered city girl falls head over little black heels in love with a Peace Corps poster boy and follows him —literally–to the ends of the earth. Eve Brown always thought she would join the Peace Corps someday, although she secretly worried about life without sushi, frothy coffee drinks and air conditioning.  But with college diploma in hand, it was time to put up or shut up. So with some ambivalence she arrives at the Peace Corps office–sporting her best safari chic attire –to casually look into the steps one might take if one were to become a global humanitarian, a la Angelina Jolie.  But when Eve meets John, her dashing young Peace Corps recruiter, all her ambivalence flies out the window. She absolutely must join the Peace Corps - and win John's heart in the process. Off to Ecuador she goes and - after a year in the jungle - back to the States she runs, vowing to stay within easy reach of a decaf cappuccino for the rest of her days. But life had other plans.  Just as she's getting reacquainted with the joys of toilet paper, John gets a job with CARE and Eve must decide if she’s up for life in another third world outpost. Before you can say, "pass the malaria prophylaxis," the couple heads off to Uganda, and the fun really begins--if one can call having rats in your toilet fun. Fortunately, in Eve’s case one certainly can, because to her, every experience is an adventure to be embraced and these pages come alive with all of the alternatively poignant and uproarious details. With wit and candor, First Comes Love, then Comes Malaria chronicles Eve’s misadventures as an aspiring do-gooder. From intestinal parasites to getting caught in a civil war, culture clashes to unexpected friendships, here is an honest and laugh-out-loud funny look at the search for love and purpose—from a woman who finds both in the last place she expected.AUTHOR BIO EVE BROWN-WAITE was a finalist for Iowa Review, Glimmer Train, and New Millennium Writings Awards for stories she wrote about her time abroad. She lives with her husband and two children in Massachusetts....

Title : First Comes Love, then Comes Malaria: How a Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and a Third World Adventure Changed My Life
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780767929356
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

First Comes Love, then Comes Malaria: How a Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and a Third World Adventure Changed My Life Reviews

  • Jeannie
    2019-04-26 06:59

    Can I rate the first section five stars and the second section three? Being a RPCV (returned Peace Corps volunteer) and ex-"expat" myself, the book rang true. I laughed out loud about gamma globulin shots, weekly Newsweek magazines, host families that, with the best of intentions, will never leave you alone, scary staging in Miami, crazy water heaters, people going through your personal hygiene products trying to figure them out, etc. It was a fun, realistic look at the well-meaning, and often misguided efforts of the idealistic idiots that most of us were, or still are. On the other hand, being an expat isn't really all that interesting beyond the point when life becomes routine. Eve, as is often the case, met some interesting fellow expats and figured out that hired help can get you through the challenges of working out survival techniques while helping the local economy. She also saw some interesting scenery and stressed about interesting governmental situations which I would have loved to learn more about. The motherhood issues got a bit dragged out for my taste, and the cast of characters got flat in the second section. I wish we'd learned more about her husband and his work, and I wish she'd come away with some deeper friendships with some of the people of Uganda. Still, the book was enjoyable and money well spent.

  • Josephine
    2019-04-27 00:07

    I wanted to like this -- I really did. But I think the reason it took so long for me to finish reading this book was because Eve Brown-Waite seemed to be trying too hard to be charming and quirky -- like Carrie Bradshaw if she had followed some handsome do-gooder out to Uganda and married him. But the thing is, Eve Brown-Waite is no Carrie Bradshaw -- though, some of the flightly, materialistic, whiney aspects of Carrie's character is on full display in this book. I think the best travel memoirs give you a true sense of a place. When someone's so busy complaining about how difficult it is for them to be there and seems to gleefully document how much they've struggled to adapt there...well, it's hard to want to continue finishing the book. If anything, she makes a pretty good case for how awful it is in Uganda and how she seems to deserve some sort of medal for surviving it. I mean, you have to feel sorry for the poor thing! She has no domestic skills whatsoever! Of course she had to hire on several servants -- after all, that's what they do there. And wasn't she helping people out by hiring them to wash and clean and cook for her? After all, she must have been so busy, what with not having a job and complaining all the time. I get the fact that Eve is a do-gooder at heart but the fact remains that, despite a short stint with the Peace Corps herself, this is really just the story of a girl who followed a boy to a Third World country. I would have really rather just read an account of the good work that her husband did while he was in Uganda, as opposed to the massive culture shock that Eve had to face when she was suddenly living without all the luxuries that she was so used to. What's more is, even though she establishes very early on that it's just what you do there -- hiring people to be your servants -- I very quickly got the sense that she was this spoiled rich person who sat about doing nothing all day and then being irritated over how "backwards" everything was. It was like, "Oh, I was always being asked for money and I freely gave it out!" or "I was at the tennis club with my expat friends..." Yes, she has a Masters degree, and yes, she tried to get a job, but ultimately, couldn't get one. (Not her fault, though. Nobody seemed to have a position readily available for her...but, in her own words, she became this "giver" of money, helping people out, so I guess she found something to do.) The fact is, I just didn't really like Eve very much -- the more I read of her book, the more I thought, "I wouldn't get along with this woman or like her very much if I knew her in real life." In fact, a small part of me couldn't even understand what drew her husband to her. (Though, who can really understand what makes one person fall in love with the other?) I get why she was drawn to her husband, but not the other way around. If anything, she came across as this whiney, self-indulgent, condescending brat. I only finished this book because I have this insane urge to finish what I started...but now I'm beginning to think, "Why waste time with things you hate?"

  • Jim
    2019-04-03 03:59

    Usually I am much more tolerant, but I guess I make an exception for whiny princess drama queens who write books whose ultimate message is, "Look at me doing this! Look at me doing that!" Such was First Comes Love, then Comes Malaria: How a Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and a Third World Adventure Changed My Life by Eve Brown-Waite.I undertook to read this book because of the chapters on Ecuador. The problem was that the author was in too much of a funk to try to understand the people and culture of Santa Domingo de los Colorados, where she was stationed as a Peace Corps volunteer.Most of the book is set in Africa, where the author becomes pregnant and spends an excessive time describing the sounds her baby made and the various stages of illness (including malaria) in her life.I suppose Eve Waite-Brown is uniquely qualified to be a suburban earth mother where she has ready access to all the Snapple and cottage cheese she craves. But next time, Eve, spare me the histrionics!

  • LeAnne
    2019-04-17 05:18

    CARE and the Peace Corps do not have the same lifestyle as missionaries, but the confusion and frustrations of being plunged into a small town in a developing country are very similar. The fact is that negative events are much funnier to read about than pleasant ones, and Eve Brown-Waite’s misadventures in Ecuador and Uganda will have you laughing out loud whether you have ever been in a developing country or not. Those of us who have, will see ourselves and our friends in everything from making yogurt in a sleeping bag and coping with body odor to dreading good-byes and totally losing it in an American supermarket.Brown-Waite’s account shows culture shock in both directions. If it doesn’t scare you off life overseas, it may prepare you for the realities with more insight than a field integration manual. Although in much of the book she is desperate to escape, by the end, as unrest escalates in the area, she is heartbroken to leave her friends and remove her “Ugandan” toddler from this supportive community.

  • Chloe
    2019-04-27 00:12

    This memoir was really event based and not as thoughtful as I wanted it to be. The author describes major events in this sort of matter-of-fact way, but never provided the reflective commentary I wanted to get what the heck was going on. I thought that Eve was just a bundle of contradictions (which admittedly, everyone is) but she never took the time to really explain why she acted the way she did. I hate criticizing memoirs because the work that her and her husband do is really exciting and important... it just didn't make for the most gripping of plot lines.On a side note, I really loved the cover design.

  • Kim
    2019-03-29 05:27

    If you can get past the first 30 pages of obnoxious whining, you'll find that the rest of the book is comprised of much more entertaining whining. Definitely a different book than I expected - mostly about the author's struggles with being an ex-pat in Uganda, trying to adjust to the environment, figure out the people, and maybe find meaningful work to do while she's there. Basically, the things I learned from this book:1) Uganda is pretty, but I don't want to live there2) Do-gooder, save-the-world people are great in theory, but if you marry one you'll end up eating termites

  • Andrea
    2019-04-18 05:13

    The cover and title are misleading. This book is more culturally sensitive and aware than I expected. Detailed description of culture shock and adaptation make the book worth reading. The author does not spend much time describing the places or cultures she interacts with. But she is refreshingly honest about her reactions to the disorientation and frustration of dealing with a totally unfamiliar culture and the addictive qualities of "aid" work.

  • Emily
    2019-04-12 04:16

    As someone who's about to become a Peace Corps volunteer I read this book in order to get another perspective on what it is like to serve. The book is split into two parts-- when she's a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador, and then when she is in Uganda with her husband when he is working for CARE. It's almost like 2 different books, and one gets the sense that she is rushing through the first part of the story just to get to the second. The whole premise of her falling in love with her Peace Corps recruiter is preposterous and fairly unbelievable to anyone who has been through the process. You never get the sense of why she is so madly in love with him, nor do you get why he falls for her. I mean, it's a pretty big deal that he quits his job and spends the summer living with her in Ecuador (are volunteers really allowed to have someone shack up with them for a summer?) And you'd think it would be really frowned upon for a recruiter to date a potential volunteer, plus why would he start dating someone that he obviously knows is leaving for 2 years? The whole romantic aspect is just not believable to the reader. The other part that wasn't treated well was her early termination of service. She vaguely talks about panic attacks, but I think she gives it all of 2 pages from when the panic attacks start to when she says "I quit". For such a monumental decision, she doesn't offer it much gravitas, and it forces the reader to think that she just quit early so she could go back to her pseudo-boyfriend-- even if that's not the case, her treatment of that episode just makes it seem that way. Her writing style is conversational and the epistolary element at the end of each chapter adds a nice, different dimension to each chapter, but oh my god does the "I'll keep you posted.." ending to each letter get irritating! (Who signs a letter that way?) A lot of readers find her whiny and irritating in her unrealistic expectations of life in rural Uganda-- as someone who served as a Peace Corps volunteer you'd think she'd be a little bit better prepared to do without western luxuries. Ultimately I did empathize with her, especially during her incredibly difficult pregnancy, but on the whole I was not able to be pulled in enough to really identify with her.

  • MAP
    2019-04-08 08:11

    This book is in the same vein as Maartin Troost's "Sex Lives of Cannibals" and "Getting Stoned with Savages." The book follows Eve from her post-college Peace Corp experience in South America, to Uganda with her husband and eventually baby via CARE. To me, it just didn't live up the standards of Troost's books. I never really felt like I understood what day to day living was like there. People and situations seem to pop in and out throughout the book with the sense that they've been there all along but you haven't been hearing about them. For example, we didn't get a sense of what the wildlife around them was like until about 150 pages in, and even then it's only mentioned once, there's a whole chapter on bringing the cats to Uganda from the US and then they're only mentioned a couple more times throughout the book, and at the end when she's saying goodbye to everyone there were several people whose names I knew I'd seen but I couldn't remember exactly who they were, what role they'd played in her life, and why she was so distraught over leaving them. Now I'm not saying I'd want to read 100+ pages on housecats in Uganda, but a little bit of flow and continuity would have been nice. Sometimes it just felt like she forgot that we couldn't see through her eyes and know what was going on from day to day.This was a perfectly fun book with some definite laugh out loud moments. But like I said, I read Troost's books first, and his just feel more effortlessly informative and funny.

  • Marieke
    2019-04-17 05:12

    This book was worth the what? This book was worth the wait! I'm pretending that I've known for twenty years that this book was going to be written...which I did not know, and also, when I did become aware of it's existence I think maybe a week passed before I had it in hand. and then I couldn't put it down. I think eve brown-waite waited the exact right amount of time to get her experiences in Ecuador and Uganda down on paper for the public. The story developed beautifully as she effortlessly told her story of being uncomfortably an outsider in bewildering cultures to being comfortably an outsider. Her style is frank and honest and funny, capturing the voices of friends and family...I particularly liked her mother and Adam. I really hope she is planning to write about her husband's next assignment too...although I realize she'll be wiser adjusting to a new culture but Uzbekistan is surely a fascinating place that eve brown-waite will describe with her singular sense of humor. I also really hope that she has returned to Uganda, or plans to, and finds her people in Arua...and writes about it for us. The only gripe I have about her book is the missing photographs....I'd really like to see what Arua looks like, what the market looked like, what the compounds looked like, what her friends and househelp looked like, and definitely what her hot pink pants from the dead mzungu market looked like.

  • Karen
    2019-04-09 08:24

    Intriguing read about life as an Expat Loved this book about life as Peace Corp volunteer and expat in Uganda. The writer interspersed letters she wrote during those years which were interesting. It kept my interest to hear how she matured and learned about other ways of life!

  • Laura
    2019-04-26 06:03

    I stuck with this book, hoping the author's perspective would develop beyond the "Great White Saviour" attitude displayed in her early Peace Corps days. Surely living for a few years in Uganda would bring about a deeper understanding of the harmful impact of forces of colonialism and globalization? Unfortunately this does not seem to be the case. While seeming self-conscious and conflicted about her expat ladies-who-lunch lifestyle, she appears to have made little effort to genuinely understand the local culture. Twice she gleefully points out prejudiced comments by Ugandans, saying that she cannot wait to relay these stories to her black friend at home in the US (ouch). This friend had made a comment that I interpreted to be about structural racism in America, but which the author seems to have understood as meaning that black people can never exhibit bias. Similarly she makes a flippant remark that implies that the Lugbara language was simplistic and nonsensical given that it was purely oral, a common and arrogant misconception that inaccurately conflates writing with linguistic complexity. She marvels that the local women running stalls at the market where she shops know her name and details about her life, while she knows nothing about them. This says much about her lack of effort to get to know them as more than a faceless mass of "Africans." (She uses the generic "African" to describe words and customs that are specific to the region she lived in.)Brown-Waite heaps scorn on Ugandans (more than once describing the country as "a corner of hell") for their fatalistic attitudes - if only they displayed the "can do" spirit of Americans, all would be well! - and traditional beliefs about HIV/AIDS that contradict scientific evidence. If she'd made more of an effort to understand why people have a different outlook on life or different attitudes about personal agency (how might these beliefs work in the context of this culture and the history of this place?), she might have displayed more humility. Similarly, successful public health workers operate respectfully within the the worldviews and beliefs of communities rather than simply contradicting them and chastising them for not seeing the light. People living overseas often come to new realizations of the absurdities and contradictions of their own home cultures - but this type of perspective never seems to dawn on her.The saddest part of this whole book for me was how well-intentioned she generally was. She comes across as someone who genuinely wished to help others, wanted to get to know other parts of the world, and believed herself to be open-minded. So many writers have eloquently made the case that that overseas aid often does more harm than good, and this book inadvertently sheds some light on why this may be.

  • Kathy Stone
    2019-04-13 01:20

    This was a great book. It was honest if even slightly exaggerated and as a result was an enjoyable reading experience. I love to read travelogues and learn about other people's experiences. This may be because I cannot afford to travel, but there is a steady stream of reading material available to me. I utilize my public library quite frequently and buy books whenever I have extra money. Do I have a personal inkling to visit either Ecuador or Uganda, probably not in this lifetime, but it was fun to read about a very non-domestic person setting up housekeeping in the third world. Unfortunately, Eve Brown-Waite was not able to set up housekeeping in her native New York City, either. Maybe it was best for her to be an ex-pat in an extremely poor country. In this manner she could learn the skills that were not inherit in her very nature without all of the criticisms of the first world. Hey! She gets to learn to make homemade yogurt. I cannot do that. Okay this story is not without flaws, but then again what human being is without her flaws? This very personal story admits to the reader that Ms. Brown-Waite is a deeply flawed, at times whiny individual. The book starts with her Peace Corps experience which did not end happily, but allowed her to seek professional help and have a lasting relationship with the man she married and went to Uganda with. Through a series of mishaps she learns domesticity and unconditional love albeit in a war zone. After all we are all just surviving. The people she meets are amazing and she is open to let them teach her the knowledge she does not possess.

  • Patti
    2019-04-15 03:12

    This was a fast enjoyable read. Eve's story illustrates that perhaps the biggest impact of The Peace Corps is the change in world view the Peace Corps volunteers come home with. Her description of the teaching session in which she learned which cuts of beef were the ones she should choose in the open air market was wonderful. The ones with flies on them were the ones to pick, the one looking clean and tasty had to have been sprayed with pesticides. It reminded me of the pig faces that were hanging in the market in Managua,Nicaragua when we were there many years ago.I also strongly related to her description of being over whelmed with all the choices on the store shelves when she returned home. Hopefully returned Peace Corps volunteers are somehow able to retain the value of keeping it simple when they reintegrate into our world of way too many unnecessary options.

  • Alene
    2019-04-18 07:14

    I loved this book. It wasn't deep and profound, and I don't really read books for escape, but that's what it was. It was the exact dream I'd once had for my own life that I will never be able to fulfill so for once I see it as an "escape" even though usually books inspire me how to live rather than dream. It was a quick read and full of good stories, I could see myself in the author's shoes, being full of desire for adventure and then not knowing how to do anything and feeling intimidated and overwhelmed with the learning curve in a third world country. But I loved how she became the one who helped newcomers to the area and how her baby grew up among all those different influences.

  • Sue
    2019-04-10 06:25

    For years, Eve had talked about serving with Peace Corps. After college, she decided it was time to follow-through with what she’d said. During the recruitment process, she fell in love with her recruiter and in spite of not wanting to leave, followed through with her assignment in Ecuador. Unfortunately, personal issues cut short the time she spent there. After returning to the States and marrying John, he accepted an assignment with CARE in Uganda. The majority of the book is their experiences there. One of the reviews on the back cover calls this "laugh out loud funny". I suppose we have different senses of humor because while I smiled at some things, I wasn't laughing. I commend her for being open about the events in Ecuador that uncovered the abuse in her past to enable her to find help and healing. At times I got frustrated with her whiny-privileged mindset. But now I can look back and see that some of that was necessary in the early parts in order for the change at the end to show her own development.

  • Jeanne
    2019-03-27 05:26

    In my younger days I thought I would be a Peace Corps volunteer. After reading this book I know I would not have lasted. Eve's first "adventure" is in Ecuador where she spends many hours moaning about the man she left behind in the States - her recruiter, John. I was surprised to learn that the volunteers define their own mission. I had assumed that you were added to a project already underway. Eventually, Eve ends up in Uganda as part of CARE. There are very different challenges in Africa and Eve tries to find her purpose among the peoples of a culture that is completely alien to Americans. This book was a very interesting read written in a breezy style.

  • Unwisely
    2019-04-23 00:13

    A light, pleasant book, which basically covers a) the arduous process of getting into the Peace Corps, b) time in the Peace Corps in Ecuador, and c) time in Uganda with her husband.The protagonist seemed nice, the writing was engaging, and she captures the humor, uncertainty, and unpleasantness that I remember from my own time abroad. The discomforts of Third World travel put riding the bus to work in perspective. While reading it I was reminded of J. Maarten Troost, and then I later noticed he had a pull quote on the back. Aww.

  • Michelle
    2019-04-21 00:15

    This was a lot of fun. The author occasionally seems a little whiny, especially at the first when she thinks she wants to go in the Peace Corps, suddenly falls in love with her recruiter, and then endlessly agonizes about going or not, because she wants to stay with him. I get the idea she was a bit clingy at first. :-) But once she is in Ecuador, the laugh-out-louds begin and reading about her good and bad times through Ecuador, then further education, marriage, and a posting in Uganda--very enjoyable reading.

  • Rosie Crawford
    2019-04-08 00:23

    I laughed all the way through this great memoir of living in third world countries. I could relate to so much of it after our time in Honduras with our three teenagers. We grow so used to our "comforts" and "conveniences" that it's hard to imagine living as most people on earth have to live. Although she is modest and honest about her misgivings and complaints, her generosity to her hosts and enjoyment of her life in both Ecuador and Uganda shines through. I nearly read it in one sitting, but ended up finishing it this morning after my tablet ran out of juice yesterday evening.

  • Nanci
    2019-04-18 02:20

    Enjoyed the book. It would have been better served with a better more concise title. The writing is simplistic and straightforward. Nothing fancy or revolutionary just a nice slice of life story . It brought back memories when a friend was in Democratic Republic of the Congo. She had a similar love/hate/frustrating experience that Eve did. She had to leave due to unrest too. When she got back, she often said how much she missed Africa. I admire anyone who would go on such a life changing experiences.

  • Amy
    2019-04-09 03:01

    This was a nice change from more serious reading. I love travel books, and to hear about her experiences was enlightening. I really enjoyed it, and she made me laugh on more than one occasion. I found it so interesting to see what other countries do and live with. I would definitely read another book by her.

  • JoAnn Yerem
    2019-03-30 00:25

    Very fast read. Parts are very entertaining. Just ... I don’t know. It’s missing something. It’s a typical American fish out of water in the developing world. I’ve lived in Prague, right after communism fell, and I’m presently in Panama City. Many of her feelings, trials and tribulations ring so very true, and some is genuinely funny.

  • Camille Maio
    2019-04-10 08:19

    Loved this from start to finish. Great to read about a woman who didn't exactly envision life in the African bush for herself, but grew to embrace it and love its people. I hope she writes another about her next round of adventures.

  • Jennifer
    2019-03-31 07:27

    I picked this book up because I have a friend that is going on her 3rd Peace Corps mission. And she's headed to Ethiopia. She just married and I thought this would be a fun book to share with her.

  • Seamus Geraghty
    2019-03-31 08:12


  • Janice
    2019-04-04 07:26

    Fast, easy read.

  • Jennifer
    2019-04-21 02:11

    I meant to add this to my reading list recently. Fabulous NF book set in Ecuador and Uganda. Full review to be posted on The Cubicle Escapee.

  • Jen
    2019-04-12 07:16


  • Tiffany
    2019-04-16 02:21

    Interesting journey. It was a bit long but a good book overall.