How did tracy kidder meet paul farmer

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder | Books

how did tracy kidder meet paul farmer

Tracy Kidder begins his book by noting that he first met Dr. Paul Edward Kidder senses that Farmer has far more experience with Haiti than Carroll does. Tracy Kidder, when did you know you had a book called Strength In What The outlines of it I - I had met him three years previously and - Deo that is. .. my trips with Paul Farmer, I went back with him to Burundi and Rwanda. Related Characters: Doctor Paul Farmer (speaker), Tracy Kidder (speaker) .. A few weeks later, Kidder meets Farmer on board a flight to Miami. Farmer, who's agreed to meet Serena in Boston, tells Serena that she did the right thing.

how did tracy kidder meet paul farmer

Farmer specializes in infectious disease; he's made it his mission to transform health care on a global scale, by focusing on the world's poorest and sickest communities. Back inFarmer helped found a nonprofit called Partners in Health, which says its mission is both medical and moral.

Now, the group treats 1, patients daily for free in the Haitian countryside. The group also works to cure drug-resistant tuberculosis among prisoners in Siberia and in the slums of Lima, Peru.

An Interview with Author Tracy Kidder

Read an excerpt, from Chapter 1: Six years after the fact, Dr. Paul Edward Farmer reminded me, "We met because of a beheading, of all things. Near the center of town there was a Haitian army outpost -- a concrete wall enclosing a weedy parade field, a jail, and a mustard-colored barracks. I was sitting with an American Special Forces captain, named Jon Carroll, on the building's second-story balcony. Evening was coming on, the town's best hour, when the air changed from hot to balmy and the music from the radios in the rum shops and the horns of the tap-taps passing through town grew loud and bright and the general filth and poverty began to be obscured, the open sewers and the ragged clothing and the looks on the faces of malnourished children and the extended hands of elderly beggars plaintively saying, "Grangou," which means "hungry" in Creole.

I was in Haiti to report on American soldiers. Twenty thousand of them had been sent to reinstate the country's democratically elected government, and to strip away power from the military junta that had deposed it and ruled with great cruelty for three years.

how did tracy kidder meet paul farmer

Captain Carroll had only eight men, and they were temporarily in charge of keeping the peace amongHaitians, spread across about one thousand square miles of rural Haiti. A seemingly impossible job, and yet, out here in the central plateau, political violence had all but ended.

In the past month, there had been only one murder. Then again, it had been spectacularly grisly. A few weeks back, Captain Carroll's men had fished the headless corpse of the assistant mayor of Mirebalais out of the Artibonite River.

He was one of the elected officials being restored to power. Suspicion for his murder had fallen on one of the junta's local functionaries, a rural sheriff named Nerva Juste, a frightening figure to most people in the region.

Captain Carroll and his men had brought Juste in for questioning, but they hadn't found any physical evidence or witnesses. So they had released him.

The captain was twenty-nine years old, a devout Baptist from Alabama. From what I'd seen, he and his men had been trying earnestly to make improvements in this piece of Haiti, but Washington, which had decreed that this mission would not include "nation-building," had given them virtually no tools for that job.

On one occasion, the captain had ordered a U. Army medevac flight for a pregnant Haitian woman in distress, and his commanders had reprimanded him for his pains. Up on the balcony of the barracks now, Captain Carroll was fuming about his latest frustration when someone said there was an American out at the gate who wanted to see him. There were five visitors actually, four of them Haitians. They stood in the gathering shadows in front of the barracks, while their American friend came forward.

He told Captain Carroll that his name was Paul Farmer, that he was a doctor, and that he worked in a hospital here, some miles north of Mirebalais. I remember thinking that Captain Carroll and Dr. Farmer made a mismatched pair, and that Farmer suffered in the comparison. The captain stood about six foot two, tanned and muscular.

As usual, a wad of snuff enlarged his lower lip. Now and then he turned his head aside and spat.

how did tracy kidder meet paul farmer

Farmer was about the same age but much more delicate-looking. He had short black hair and a high waist and long thin arms, and his nose came almost to a point.

Mountains Beyond Mountains

Next to the soldier, he looked skinny and pale, and for all of that he struck me as bold, indeed downright cocky. He asked the captain if his team had any medical problems.

how did tracy kidder meet paul farmer

The captain said they had some sick prisoners whom the local hospital had refused to treat. A circuitous argument followed.

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder - Teacher's Guide - Books

He clearly believed that the United States had helped to foster the coup -- for one thing, by having trained a high official of the junta at the U. Army's School of the Americas. Two clear sides existed in Haiti, Farmer said -- the forces of repression and the Haitian poor, the vast majority.

Farmer was on the side of the poor. But, he told the captain, "it still seems fuzzy which side the American soldiers are on. I sensed that Farmer knew Haiti far better than the captain, and that he was trying to impart some important information. The people in this region were losing confidence in the captain, Farmer seemed to be saying, and this was a serious matter, obviously, for a team of nine soldiers trying to governpeople. But the warning wasn't entirely plain, and the captain got a little riled up at Farmer's denunciation of the School of the Americas.

As for Nerva Juste, he said, "Look, that guy is a bad guy.

how did tracy kidder meet paul farmer

When I do have him and the evidence, I'll slam him. Juste was a menace and should be locked up. So they reached a strange impasse. The captain, who described himself as "a redneck," arguing for due process, and Farmer, who clearly considered himself a champion of human rights, arguing for preventive detention. This guide is divided into three categories: Questions in the first two sections can be used for oral discussion in small or large groups, or for written assignments.

The Personal Essay questions will require longer, personal answers, and are more appropriate as written assignments. He attended Harvard College and served as a lieutenant in Vietnam. His next book, My Detachment: A Memoir due Fall focuses on his time spent as a lieutenant in Vietnam. Farmer and the captain initially discuss a recent murder case in the area, and then move on to discuss the role of the U.

Why do you think that Kidder opens his book with this scene? Why do you think he chose to write Mountains Beyond Mountains from a first-person perspective? In what ways would the book be different if it were written in the third-person perspective?

On his trips outside of Haiti, Paul Farmer carries two photos to show his colleagues—one of his own daughter Catherine, and one of a young patient at Cange page Why is it important to Farmer to show both photos?

What sacrifices has Farmer made to pursue his goals? How have these sacrifices affected his relationship with Didi and Catherine, and with his friends? Paul Farmer had a very unusual upbringing in Massachusetts, Alabama, and Florida. What specific elements from his childhood and family life prepared Farmer for his current life?

How has your upbringing influenced your own choices and goals in life? In many cases, Farmer tends to reach out to touch his patients comfortingly and call them by pet names or endearments. Are these gestures typical of modern American doctors?

What motivates Paul Farmer to do the work he does? What does he see as his compensation? His approach to public health care has drawn criticism because it is not perceived to be cost-effective.

What is his response to these arguments? What factors do you think are most important in making such decisions about how money should be spent in public health programs?