"Mountains Beyond Mountains" by Tracy Kidder

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Biology ・MLA

Book Questions ""Mountains Beyond Mountains"" by Tracy Kidder

How, where, and when Tracy Kidder Meets Dr. Paul Farmer

In 1994, fourteen days before Christmas, in a market city called Mirebalais in Haiti, Tracy Kidder is sitting with Jon Carroll, an American Forces captain, at an military post. While they are sitting, Carroll is informed that he has visitors; one American friend, and 4 Haitians. The American introduces himself as Paul Farmer and works as a doctor in a neighborhood health facility. Apparently, this is the first time Kidder comes to comprehend Farmer. Farmer states that his concern is to locate out who beheaded the assistant mayor. Kidder continues staying with the soldiers for some weeks and once again meets Farmer while flying home. Kidder holds a comprehensive discussion with Farmer regarding the killing of the assistant mayor. In the conversation, Farmer elucidates that he had come to warn Carroll. At this point, Kidder asks Farmer to tell him more about his life.

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 About Haiti

I know that Haiti is an impoverished country and there is much insecurity; it cannot be an appropriate destination for people going on vacations or cruises. The country does not have a functioning legal system. Reportedly, the country’s per capita income is just slightly above a dollar per day (Kidder). The country lost most of its soils and forests. Moreover, it has the worst health statistics in the Western world. Some of the questions that I have about the country include: Can I drive my car while in Haiti? In what ways can I communicate with my friends in the country? In case of an emergency situation, how can I leave the country in the soonest time possible? 

Describing Zanmi Lasante and Partners in Health

Zanmi Lasante is described as a “fortress on its mountainside, a large complex of concrete buildings, half covered with tropical greenery” (Kidder). All things in this hospital are well resourced and new. The accomplishments of Zanmi Lasante are described the public sanitation, houses, schools, and water systems. The facility obtains most of its funding from "Partners in Health," which is a small public charity.  

“Narrating Haiti”

I think when Kidder talks of "describing Haiti," he means that he will be telling the story of Haiti. Indeed, this is true because he presents information about what is happening in Haiti; especially the problems Haitians face.

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“Farmer tells Kidder that he will be his Vigil. What do you make of this comment?

Doctor Farmer informs Kidder that he, Farmer, will be the Virgil of Kidder. In this sense, Farmer considers every person as a prospective subject for education. The farmer tells Kidder about his education regarding the link between medicine and the beliefs in witchcraft. At some point, he had lived in Boston while recovering from an injury when one of his patients succumbed to TB. When he came back, he was informed that the patient would not have lost her life if he had been around. Indeed, their intended connotation was complementary; however, Doctor Farmer changed this to self-reproach. In this regard, he wished to have a medical system, which would continue working even when he was not there.

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What would you guess the title means? What have been your experiences with mountains?

The meaning of the title “Mountains Beyond Mountains” is that beyond mountains, there are still more mountains. Fundamentally, it can be considered that beyond difficulties, there are still more difficulties. My experience with mountains is that it is difficult to climb them and one has to work hard and be determined before reaching up there.

The Impact of the Abolition of the Creole pig and Constructing the Peligre dam on Haiti

Abolishing the Creole pigs and establishing the Peligre dam both played a significant role in making the poor Haitians even poorer. Initially, Creole pigs enabled these people to meet their daily needs, including taking their children to school. The dam was meant to promote agribusiness; however, when it overflowed, it destroyed the land.

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Work Cited

Kidder, Tracy. Mountains Beyond Mountains. Random House, 2004.

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