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Letters Home cover

  • eBook Edition
    • 978-1-03-919183-9
    • epub, pdf files
  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-919181-5
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Standard Color interior
    • 234 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-919182-2
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Standard Color interior
    • 234 pages
  • Keywords
    • Life in Niger,
    • Memoir of a missionary,
    • collective vs. individual,
    • Canadians in Niger,
    • Agriculture in Niger,
    • Christian mission family,
    • West African mission

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Letters Home
Pictures from Niger
by Ary Vreeken

In 1999 Ary Vreeken accepted a position as an International Development Worker for a project in Niger, with a Canadian church group. With extensive experience in both agriculture and community development in Canada and West Africa, his mission was to work with a local association of Nigerièn Christians seeking ways to improve food security in the region. Told with great insight, compassion, and wit, Letters Home: Pictures from Niger is a fascinating collection of short “vignettes” based on letters sent to family back in Canada during the seven years the author, his wife, Joanna, and their four children lived in Niamey, Niger’s capital city. These vignettes—in turn, heartfelt, informative, funny, and poignant—touch upon everything from agricultural innovation and dust storms to the author’s relationship with his Nigerièn colleagues, and from the unending challenge of learning French and local languages to a Kafkaesque saga of repairing a washing machine. The experience of cross-cultural living led to the internalization of new norms and values and a very different, and much deeper, understanding of both foreign aid and the true meaning of spirituality.

Ary Vreeken photo

Ary Vreeken has been working in international development since 1983, with on-the-ground lived-experience in Niger, Liberia, and Nepal. With education in agriculture, chemical engineering, social work, and community health sciences, Ary is a much sought-after consultant, speaker, and educator both in Canada and abroad. He has previously published several articles and has developed a handbook and training materials for staff deployed in post-disaster community recovery here in Canada. Letters Home: Pictures from Niger is his first book. Ary and Joanna Vreeken currently live in Alberta.


Ary Vreeken

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