About the Author
Gerald L. Miller, M.D., was born in Goshen, Indiana, and grew up in nearby Shipshewana, in a Mennonite family with a strong lineage of teachers and missionaries. As a child, Gerald enjoyed listening to relatives like Orie O. Miller and Jay Hostetler recount their international experiences at the dinner table or on Sundays at Forks Mennonite Church.
As a student at Goshen College, Gerald studied premed and, after graduating from Indiana School of Medicine, set up a family practice in the small town of Markle, Indiana. For forty-two years, he worked in this largely rural area south of Ft. Wayne. During this time Gerald regularly made house calls to those unable to come to the office and developed community home health care and Hospice services. To provide better emergency care for his patients, he helped his community develop the first EMT and Paramedic services in northeast Indiana.
This book tells the story of Gerald’s year of service with Eastern Mennonite Mission Board in Somalia, East Africa, but over the last thirty-two years, he has also made twenty-five trips to Project Help in Haiti. There, with the effort of other doctors in his medical practice and support from the Church of God, he helped establish a medical clinic and then a hospital.
Since 2006, Gerald and his wife Mary have been living in Westfield, Indiana, where he enjoys gardening, golfing, playing card games with his grandchildren, and indulging an eclectic taste in literature, from nineteenth-century Russian novels to John Grisham mysteries. He and Mary enjoy traveling and recently toured Paraguay with a group of friends from their church, First Mennonite of Indianapolis.
About the Editor
Shari Wagner started writing poems the year she was in Somalia. As an eighth grader, she started pecking out metaphors about the desert on the same manual typewriter her mother used to give typing lessons to her Somali students. Shari wanted to capture the harsh and desolate beauty of a landscape that stood in contrast to the maple-lined streets of Goshen, Indiana, where she was born, and to the cornfields that surrounded her wooded home near Markle. She didn’t know it then, but Somalia is a land of poets where proverbs are used extensively and personal honor hinges on an ability to compose and recite poems.
Evening Chore, Shari’s first book of poems, was published in 2005 by DreamSeeker Books (imprint of Cascadia Publishing House), and her poems have appeared in numerous magazines, including The Christian Century, Christianity & Literature, North American Review, Southern Poetry Review, and Black Warrior Review. An upcoming issue of Shenandoah will include her essay, “Camels, Cowries & a Poem for Aisha,” written in memory of Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, a thirteen-year-old Somali girl stoned to death last year in Kismayu. Over the years, she has received six grants from the Indiana Arts Commission and two fellowships from the Arts Council of Indianapolis. She holds a B.A. in English and Communication from Goshen College and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Indiana University.
Shari teaches poetry writing for the Writers’ Center of Indiana and lives in Westfield, Indiana, with her husband Chuck, a poet and English teacher, and daughters Vienna and Iona. The whole family enjoys excursions to Indiana’s state parks.
About the Artist
In creating her Sufi-inspired, camel mandala (see cover), Vienna incorporated various details related to Somalia and to this book: minarets, acacia trees, the Somali flag, an Islamic design, and the Arabic translation of "A Hundred Camels." She learned how to draw mandalas from her high school art teacher, Joe Cancilla.
Copyright © 2009 by Cascadia Publishing House LLC