Thought-provoking presentation

Intriguing issues emerge from Calvin White’s latest book, Letters From the Land of Fear.

Author Calvin White with residents of a Central Asia village where he worked.

Who doesn’t wonder what the purpose of life is? Who doesn’t think of death without trepidation?

These are the issues that emerge from Calvin White’s latest book, Letters From the Land of Fear, (Guernica Editions, Toronto).

For 11 months, White worked as a mental health specialist with Doctors Without Borders in Central Asia. During that time he worked every day to keep death at bay from the 400 patients that the international humanitarian aid organization was serving.

That area of the planet, little known to most of us, is the region of the ancient Silk Road which connected Europe to the Far East. Today it’s the region hardest hit by the environmental disaster of the Aral Sea.

Formerly a part of the Soviet Union, the Aral Sea was once the fourth largest body of inland water on the planet. The decision of Soviet authorities to siphon off water from its two feeder rivers for cotton production has resulted in a sea now only 70% of its former size. That has created uncontrollable health issues from the toxic winds that carry their poisons from the exposed sea bed. Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis is epidemic in the Uzbekistan area that White was sent to.

His job was to counsel patients and to train local counselors to help patients cope with their affliction. During the period White was there, an eruption of communal violence in the east of the region also threw him into trauma and post traumatic stress counseling in refugee camps. These compelling adventures are brought to life in Letters From the Land of Fear in such a way as to emotionally connect the struggle and beauty of human beings from a far off place to ordinary Canadians and their own challenges.

The Okanagan Regional Library in Kelowna is sponsoring the author for a special evening presentation on Monday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m.  There is no charge.

White will show slides and integrate his experience in Central Asia with the derivative themes of how to live more intimately, how to healthily live with suffering, and how to heal from personal traumatic experiences of the past. The presentation will be thought provoking and emotionally charged.

Calvin White is also the author of two books of poetry, the latest out this year from Now Or Never Press in Vancouver, as well as the non-fiction book, The Secret Life of Teenagers, which came out in 2013.

He has written more than 85 essays and articles in all of Canada’s major newspapers, the most recent being an article on B.C.’s new personalized education initiative in the Vancouver Sun.

 

Just Posted

Pedestrian struck on Dillworth Drive

Traffic is backed up on Highway 97 as well as Dillworth Drive

West Kelowna acquires land for Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant

The city has acquired 24 acres on Bartley Road

Kelowna council gives green light to cannabis shop rezonings

Seven rezoning applications for cannabis retail stores on council’s agenda Monday

Street signs, light knocked over in crash along Highway 97

Multiple signs and a light were knocked over at the Old Vernon Road interesection

Trailer stolen from Black Mountain, Lake Country business takes a hit

Little Lakes Contracting is asking for the public’s assistance to locate a trailer

VIDEO: The ‘most cosmopolitan’ of butterflies could migrate to B.C.

The painted lady butterfly will likely arrive this summer from Southern California

SPCA seizes 54 animals from Vernon property

Animals weren’t receiving adequate care

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

RV lifestyle comes to the Okanagan

BC Interior RV Show returns to Penticton for the eighth year

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

Most Read