Mountains Beyond Mountains Essays
Answer each of the following questions from the course readings.
Application of the W Curve of Cultural Change
1. In his first year in Haiti, Paul Farmer reflected on a young doctor who was anxious to return to the United States. Farmer revealed, “I wasn’t feeling judgmental. Haiti was something he was seeing that he could leave and erase from his mind, and I was thinking, Could I do that? He was leaving Haiti, really leaving in body and mind, and I realized I was going to have trouble with that.” Relate this to the “W Curve of Cultural Change, Adaptation and Adjustment” discussed in class. Explain the obligation you feel we have, if any, to other places we see—even though we return home.
Connecting with People Who are Different
2. Paul Farmer finds ways of connecting with people whose backgrounds are vastly different from his own. How does he do this? Are his methods something to which we can all aspire? Consider how you might adopt some of his methods.
Beyond Mountains There are Mountains
3. The title of the book comes from the Haitian proverb, “beyond mountains there are mountains.” What does the saying mean in the context of the culture it comes from, and what does it mean in relation to Farmer’s work? Can you think of other situations—personal or societal—for which this proverb might be apt? Explain.
Five Major Lessons
4. What do you believe are five major lessons that can be derived from the book? These can be anything that you believe are most important.
Perspectives on How You See the World
5. How has reading this book changed how you see the world?
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