Beyond the Next Village: A Year of Magic and Medicine in Nepal [DD]

Beyond the Next Village: A Year of Magic and Medicine in Nepal [DD]

Author: Mercer, Mary Anne

Narrator: Mary Anne Mercer


Format: Digital Download

Length: 7 Hrs., 45 Mins.

ISBN: 9798886420043


Beyond the Next Village is Mary Anne Mercer's memoir of discovery, growth, and awakening in 1978 Nepal, which was then a mysterious country to most of the world.

After arriving in Nepal, Mercer, an American nurse, spent a year traveling on foot--often in flip-flops--with a Nepali health team, providing immunizations and clinical care in each village they visited. Communicating in a newly acquired language, she was often called upon to provide the only modern medicine available to the people she and her team were serving.

Over time, she learned to recognize and respect the prominence of their cultural beliefs about health and illness. Encounters with life-threatening conditions such as severe malnutrition and ectopic pregnancy gave her an enlightening view of both the limitations and power of modern health care; immersed in villagers' lives and those of her own team, she realized she was living in not just another country, but another time.

This unique story of the joys and perils of one woman's journey in the shadow of the Himalayas, Beyond the Next Village opens a window into a world where the spirits were as real as the trees, the birds, or the rain--and healing could be as much magic as medicine.

Audio Clip

Mary Anne Mercer went to work in rural Nepal in 1978 as a newly trained nurse practitioner. That experience shaped the remainder of her career, which she has spent working, teaching and writing about global public health. She has spent several decades working as university faculty, focusing on strategies to improve the health and survival of pregnant women and their children in resource-poor areas of the world. With a focus on the care of childbearing women and their newborns, Mercer has developed or supported health programs in 14 different countries in Asia and Africa. She has a particular interest in the effect of globalization on health, co-editing and contributing two chapters to a book on that topic. She was featured in a 2015 article in The Johns Hopkins University Alumni Magazine for her work in Timor-Leste, a mobile phone project for pregnant women in rural areas.


Brenda Peterson, author of Wolf Nation and I Want to Be Left Behind
"'Was I ready to change my life?' a young American nurse asks as she ventures into Nepalese villages at a time when the Himalayas were mostly unknown. Mary Anne Mercer treks between worlds in this mesmerizing memoir of adventure and initiation into another culture, another way of healing, of understanding home."

Jeff Greenwald, author of Shopping for Buddhas and Snake Lake
"Mary Anne Mercer's memoir of her months as a volunteer nurse in Nepal is moving, uplifting, and timely. Written with insight and humility, it illustrates the dilemmas of being a stranger in a strange land--even if you're a stranger with the best intentions and the tools to truly be of service. Mercer's eye for detail, humor, and frank self-reflections make Beyond the Next Village enjoyable as both memoir and travelogue. It's also a sobering reminder, during these pandemic years, of how wealth determines the standard of medical care--not just across international borders, but within developing countries."

Elizabeth Enslin, author of While the Gods Were Sleeping: A Journey through Love and Rebellion in Nepal
"With deep compassion and sharp critical insight, Mercer chronicles the challenges of delivering healthcare in rural Nepal while also recounting a more personal story of a woman working through her own uncertainties and vulnerabilities to embrace her calling. This is a must-read for any traveler who hopes to "help" in Nepal."

Margaret Combs, author of Hazard: A Sister's Flight from Family and a Broken Boy
"This is a vivid and compelling story of a young nurse's challenging trek through rural Nepal to deliver health care to families in remote villages. With compassion and honesty, Mercer grapples with uncertainty and frustration as she adapts to local cultural beliefs and scant resources. In the process, she comes to better understand herself as a health-giver and to embrace the deeper mysteries of healing."

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