Monique and the Mango Rains” by Kris Holloway.
The Short Essay is a reflection piece on your reading of “Monique and the Mango Rains” by Kris Holloway. The essay must be 500-750 words (equivalent to 2-3 double-
spaced pp.). It is due on MARCH 9 by 11:59pm. You can upload a file or copy and paste the text into the submission link. Please save a copy of your essay elsewhere in
case of technical problems.
Your grade for the essay will be based on:
1) the content of the paper and evidence of thoroughly reading and analyzing the book and 2) writing style (grammar, spelling and clarity of expression).
You must use SPECIFIC EXAMPLES FROM THE BOOK. When using direct quotes, please specify the page number in parentheses. You do not need to include the author’s name in
parentheses or a reference at the end of the paper because we know you are referring to Holloway’s book.
Cultural relativism is the principle that an individual human’s beliefs and values must be understood in terms of his or her own culture. Family structure, gender
roles/opportunities and the sexual division of labor are areas of human culture that vary greatly in different parts of the world. Another area that varies greatly is
access to education and health care resources, as seen in the book Monique and the Mango Rains by Kris Holloway.
From a position of cultural relativism, discuss the situation of women in Mali in terms of their social, economic and health status in the community using the example
of Monique and other women described in the book. Explain how the author was able to integrate into this society and what role she played in the lives of the women.
The questions listed below are suggested to help guide your discussion of the topic. Be sure that your essay has a clear introduction, supporting evidence from the
book (with examples and/or relevant quotes). *Conclude the essay with your personal opinion of this book, what you learned from reading it, and whether you would
recommend it and why.
Issues to consider in your essay: (Note: You do not have to address every question below; these are provided to guide your thinking about the topic)
-What were the main responsibilities and expectations of women in Nampossela? What type of family structure and marital arrangements were the norm? What type of health
services were available to women in the village? What were some of the health risks women faced (e.g., in examples given in the book regarding childbirth, domestic
violence, and female genital cutting practices)?
-What were some of the key cultural and gender differences that American author Kris Holloway encountered in her work as a Peace Corps health volunteer in a small,
rural Malian community? Which differences did Kris learn to accept (from a standpoint of cultural relativism) and which did she challenge and why? What differences did
Monique learn about Kris’s American culture that surprised her?
-What were some of the values that Kris and Monique both shared and strove to implement in their work together in Nampossela? What challenges did they face? How did
their cross-cultural friendship ultimately change both of their lives?
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