Love in the Driest Season : A Family Memoir
Love in the Driest Season A Family Memoir Author:Neely Tucker In 1997 foreign correspondent Neely Tucker and his wife, Vita, arrived in Zimbabwe. After witnessing the devastating consequences of AIDS and economic disaster on the country’s children, the couple started volunteering at an orphanage where a critically ill infant, abandoned in a field on the day she was born, was trusted to their care. Wi... more »thin weeks, Chipo, the baby girl whose name means “gift,” would come to mean everything to them. Their decision to adopt her, however, would challenge an unspoken social norm: that foreigners should never adopt Zimbabwean children. Against a background of war, terrorism, disease, and unbearable uncertainty about the future, Chipo’s true story emerges as an inspiring testament to the miracles that love—and dogged determination—can sometimes achieve.« less
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"Love in the Driest Season: A Family Memoir" in the Driest Season is told by a foreign correspondent Neely Tucker. Shortly after getting married, Tucker accepted a post in Zimbabwe, thinking it would be just another reporting job. Tucker, a white man from Mississippi, and his African-American wife Vita pack up their belongings, and make the track to the capital city Harare. They found the country beautiful, but ravaged by AIDS; the effects of the disease were seen everywhere. Millions of children were orphaned with one or both parents dead, orphanages were overflowing and the government was ignoring the problem.
Wanting to help, Neely and Vita began volunteering at a local orphanage, with the intention of taking some kids home with them for the weekends. The first day there, they came across a tiny infant named Chipo, and instantly fell in love with the little girl. Neely and Vita could not have kids of their own, and finding Chipo, they considered adoption to be a viable option.
Together, they nurse Chipo back to health, from a sickly baby with no responses, to a happy toddler. They also discover the prejudices that exist against foreigners adopting Zimbabwean children, and battle with the system to keep their daughter.
In addition to being a beautiful family memoir of love and perseverance, "Love in the Driest Season: A Family Memoir" is a masterful account of the situation in Zimbabwe, as well as other African countries, at that time. Tucker talks about the effects of AIDS on the population, the senseless civil unrests going on in various regions, the bombing of the American embassy in Nairobi, the lack of order, the overly pompous leaders who care little about the people they govern, and so on.