First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria is an unconventional but enthralling love story about a young woman, Eve Brown-Waite, who falls in love with her Peace Corps recruiter. After she serves in Ecuador, she returns home to marry John Waite and they soon move to Uganda. Though the book opens up with a description of her bosom, don’t let the opening paragraph dissuade you – this book evolves into a wonderful tale of one woman’s adventures in marriage, family, career, and world exploration.
Brown-Waite offers an entertaining and well-written chronicle of her daily African life, making the reader almost hear the children’s voices calling after her when she goes out to the market. At first, she is overwhelmed by simple daily tasks in the African bush, such as cooking a meal or filling the water tanks, but she eventually masters these skills. The frustration of life in a new culture is palpable at times, such as when she could not find a definitive answer from medical practitioners as to whether or not she was pregnant. Though she had brought pregnancy tests to Uganda, she did not bring the directions to interpret the results (this was before the simple drugstore tests). This book is full of such fascinating little glimpses into her daily life in Africa, from negotiating the fish market to learning how to roll with the unpredictability of daily life.
This book is an all-around good read. I’d recommend it to not only anyone with an interest in the Peace Corps, but anyone with an interest in learning about different parts of the world through the lens of a young woman.