Hunting for a Life in Tanzania
By Patricia Lee Sharpe
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Reinstated after leaving the U.S. Foreign Service to marry the wrong man, Diana Forrest is sent to counter Soviet propaganda in Cold War Tanzania where graft corrupts the socialist ideal and poachers slaughter elephants for ivory. Toggling between a diffident boss and a hard-to-please Ambassador in a media wasteland, Diana spends weekends in the bush courtesy of a Tanzanian subordinate with a safari business on the side. As that relationship trends from teamwork toward intimacy, Diana wrestles with her conscience and is also troubled by safari companions who aren’t above petty poaching—or worse: one of them may have colluded in the murder of a conservation-minded headman. It’s soon clear that Diana’s job performance will rate an excellent follow-on assignment, but she’s not sure she wants to leave.
As a U.S. foreign service officer, Patricia Lee Sharpe shunned personnel-heavy prestige posts in order to work in challenging (and sometimes dangerous) places: Sierra Leone during the rebel period, violence-prone Karachi and much maligned Kolkata, among others. But even on assignment to the Dominican Republic, her credo was this: get out of the office and into the thick of things. She’s also been an academic with a doctorate in American literature leading to a Fulbright lectureship in Pakistan, as well as a journalist, including a stint in Moscow during the Cold War. These days she lives and writes and hikes in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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