Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali
When American Peace Corps volunteer Kris Holloway-Evans first arrived in the small village of Kita, Mali, she had no idea what to expect. But she quickly became acquainted with Monique, the gifted and charismatic midwife who served as the heart and soul of the community. For two years, Holloway-Evans lived and worked alongside Monique, bearing witness to the strength, resilience, and humor of the women she served.
In Monique and the Mango Rains, Holloway-Evans tells the unforgettable story of her time in Mali and of the extraordinary woman who became her friend, teacher, and sister. With insight and compassion, she captures the day-to-day reality of life in a village where the rhythms of the natural world dictate the pace of life and where birth, death, and everything in between is an occasion for celebration or mourning.
From Village Life to City Living
When I first arrived in Bamako, the capital city of Mali, I was a bit intimidated. I had never been to Africa before, and everything was so new and different. But my friend Monique made me feel right at home. She showed me around the city and introduced me to her friends and family.
We would often spend evenings walking around the city, talking and laughing. I was amazed at how friendly and welcoming everyone was. I soon began to feel like a part of the community.
Monique taught me so much about Mali culture and traditions. I was fascinated by the music, food, and clothing. I also loved learning about the history and religion of the country.
Spending time with Monique was an incredible experience. I will never forget the lessons she taught me about life and friendship. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know her and the people of Mali.
The Laughter and Tears of Birth
When I was pregnant with my first child, I was determined to have a natural childbirth. I read all the books and talked to other moms who had done it. But when it came time to actually give birth, I was terrified. The pain was unlike anything I’d ever experienced.
Thankfully, my midwife Monique was there to help me through it. She was so calm and reassuring, and she helped me to focus on the positive aspects of childbirth, like the fact that I was bringing new life into the world.
After my baby was born, I was filled with a sense of empowerment that I never would have thought possible. I realized that Monique was right: Childbirth is an amazing and beautiful experience, even though it is also tough.
I am so grateful to Monique for her guidance and support during one of the most challenging times in my life. I know that without her, I would not have been able to have the positive birth experience that I did.
Monique and the Mango Rains is an inspiring story of friendship, culture, and strength. Kris Holloway-Evans’s time in Mali was clearly a life-changing experience, and one that she will never forget.
Monique is an amazing woman who has dedicated her life to helping others. She is a true inspiration, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from her. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in learning more about midwifery, Mali culture, or the power of friendship.