An Indian Among Los Indígenas: A Native Travel Memoir, by Ursula Pike

layiling's review against another edition

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Finished this book in a couple of days. I hadn't heard of this book before stumbling on it in a bookstore; the bright cover drew me in, as well as the description. This perspective is rare, and I was interested in the nuances of identity and experience the author promised to present. Like the author says, I'm interested in seeing other reports by POC in the Peace Corps; I'm sure many come to similar conclusions (i.e. the 'giver' gains much more than the 'receiver'). Another review I skirted over before finishing the book complained the narrative dove too much into the author's affair. I agree; toward the second half, if began to read more like a romance novel, and I lost some interest. But this is a memoir, and clearly the author wanted to sort some things out through writing it.

I think this should be required reading for anyone looking to join the Peace Corps. As a general read, it was interesting and engaging, and short enough to read quickly.

theblandfalafel's review

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adventurous informative reflective fast-paced


sofiasyntaxx's review against another edition

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emotional informative slow-paced


Spoiler Proof that even indigenous women can be cringe in the right situation.

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ecarper's review

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challenging reflective medium-paced


Very interesting and offers the question: how do you work for a neocolonial institution whilst not being a colonial force yourself? 

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kkecreads's review against another edition

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Published: April 6, 2021
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Ursula Pike is a graduate of the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her work won the 2019 Writers’ League of Texas Manuscript Contest in the memoir category, and her writing has appeared in Yellow Medicine Review, World Literature Today, and Ligeia Magazine. She has an MA in economics with a focus on community economic development and was a Peace Corps fellow at Western Illinois University. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia from 1994 to 1996. An enrolled member of the Karuk Tribe, she was born in California and grew up in Daly City, California, and Portland, Oregon. She currently lives in Austin, Texas.

“But I didn’t realize that helping people is difficult.”

Ursula Pike joined the Peace Corps wanting to make a difference. She wanted to find a way to do some good in the world. She wanted to find value in being a Native woman, and she wanted to connect with other Native people.

This memoir is about the journey Ursula had while in Bolivia. It is beautiful, heartbreaking, life-changing, and raw. The absolute vulnerable truths Ursula shares are so beautifully written. Her time in Bolivia is filled with many adventures.

The lessons learned were so incredibly vast and deep. And her time there changed her. It changed how she thought, how she saw things, how she felt about things. And mostly, it changed how she saw and felt about herself.

This is such a beautiful story about a young Native woman discovering the absolute beauty in her skin. Her culture. Her people. And her place in the world.

I love that Ursula has kept in touch with some of the friends she made while in Bolivia. And I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to share this journey with her. Everything about this book is worthwhile.

Prepare yourself; you’re about to take an emotional journey. The growth, the lessons, and the absolute love contained in these pages is pure magic.

sambabiak's review

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adventurous informative inspiring reflective medium-paced


questingnotcoasting's review against another edition

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challenging reflective sad medium-paced


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