The countdown to the book release is winding down… just over two weeks to go. The cover is set, you can read an excerpt from chapter four, and now for a detailed look at the book.
Here are the official chapter listings (and not so official descriptions) about what Misspelled Paradise is all about:
Where a prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia reminds me how to properly spell the country.
Chapter 1: Bogotá
Where I get my first introduction to Colombia through immigration bureaucracy, life-threatening traffic, and Bogotá’s Plaza Bolívar.
Chapter 2: Saying Buenas to Santa Ana
Where I move to the tiny Caribbean town that would become my home and get introduced to the local donkeys, roosters, and other neighbors.
Chapter 3: At Institución Educativa de Santa Ana
Where I have my first real day of class with my middle schoolers—a couple of weeks after the start of school—and start to get into a routine.
Chapter 4: Hell’s Kitchen (Where the Food is Great, and the Heat is Greater)
Where the heat of Colombia just gets worse and worse and I survive my kitchen, insects, and power outages.
Chapter 5: Cartagena de las Indias
Where I get lost in Colombia’s most beautiful and touristy city and consume my weight in fried street food and fresh juices.
Chapter 6: A Lot of Learning Left to Do
Where I try get into a schedule of teaching, despite my school’s serious lack of following any schedule, and where I try to get to know my students a little bit better (including attempting their learn their names).
Chapter 7: Thanking the Lord for Vacations and Drinkable Coffee
Where Holy Week gives me a well-needed vacation and I get soaked in a rainstorm in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains, sleep in a hammock on the beach at Tayrona National Park, and learn a little about Colombian religion.
Chapter 8: A Walk About Town
Where I wander through the dusty streets of Santa Ana, navigate a local landmark known as The Puddle, drink water out of bags, and watch more than a few passionate games of soccer.
Chapter 9: The Sounds of Colombia
Where I try to decipher the strange accent of coastal speakers, celebrate Colombia’s African heritage, and try to avoid vallenato music.
Chapter 10: In the Amazon
Where I navigate the rainstorms and insects of the Amazon River with a pair of rubber boots, a tiny wooden canoe, and an appreciation (read: fear) of the jungle at night.
Chapter 11: Saints and Sinners
Where I teach outside my regular classes and celebrate Santa Ana’s patron saint festival with good street food, bad music, and watery beer.
Chapter 12: Rainy Days, Sick Days
Where Santa Ana gets flooded, I get sick, and I appreciate that I can buy saltines and passion fruit Gatorade in Santa Ana.
Chapter 13: In Class (and Out of Class)
Where I continue to try and improve school life and brave chaperoning a field trip.
Chapter 14: Surviving the Guajira
Where I travel to the deserts of the Guajira Peninsula in the back of a pickup truck, and fight food poisoning from a delicious meal on a beach.
Chapter 15: Not Yet a Paradise
Where local elections show me the uglier parts of Colombia’s history and that the current state of affairs means Colombia is still struggling with a few debilitating problems.
Chapter 16: Beauty Contests, Independence Day Parades, and Spray Foam
Where I successfully navigate Cartagena’s independence day festivals despite thousands of bottles of spray foam, street extortion, and Santa Ana’s own version of the national beauty contest.
Chapter 17: Life on a Caribbean Island (Did I Mention We Had a Beach?)
Where I enjoy the white sand beach near my town and almost don’t make it down the muddy road to the tip of the island.
Chapter 18: After the Storm Comes the Calm
Where I attend school graduations, try and figure out when my last day of school is, and say goodbye to Colombia.
Where I return to Colombia two years later, exploring the changes that have happened since I left, some new areas of the country, and the changing slogans of the tourism bureau.
Check back soon to buy the book!