Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years With a Midwife in Mali, by Kris Holloway

The cover of the book "Monique and the Mango Rains," OCU Reads' 2014 selection.ABOUT THE BOOK

Monique and the Mango Rains is the compelling story of a rare friendship between a young Peace Corps volunteer and a midwife who became a legend . . .

Monique Dembele saved lives and dispensed hope in a place where childbirth is a life-and-death matter. This book tells of her unquenchable passion to better the lives of women and children in the face of poverty, unhappy marriages, and endless backbreaking work. Monique’s buoyant humor and willingness to defy tradition were uniquely hers. In the course of this deeply personal narrative, as readers immerse themselves in the rhythms of West African village life, they come to know Monique as friend, mother, and inspired woman.

From witnessing her first village birth to the night of Monique’s own tragic death, Kris Holloway draws on her first-person experiences in Mali, her graduate studies in maternal and child health, medical and clinic records, letters and journals, as well as conversations with Monique, her family, friends and colleagues, to give readers a unique view—and a friend in West Africa.



Kris Holloway, author of "Monique and the Mango Rains."Kris Holloway served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali, West Africa from 1989-1991, where she met her husband, John Bidwell. She holds a MPH from the University of Michigan where she focused her research on maternal and child health. She has used her unique background in writing, public health, and development to further the mission of numerous non-profits and educational institutions including Planned Parenthood, the National Priorities Project, the University of Michigan, Springfield College, and the Greenbelt Movement International. She currently works as the Director of Institutional Relations at the Center for International Studies, a fabulous study/live/explore abroad organization. She is a confirmed Francophile, loves chocolate, and sits on a physio ball while at her computer. She lives in Northampton, MA with John and their two sons.





OCUReads MUSINGS Creative Competition

MUSINGS … Creative reflections on Monique and the Mango Rains by Kris Holloway

OCUReads is new students’ first opportunity to engage with the community of scholars that is central to the OCU experience. In August, as part of Stars Week: New Student Orientation, first-year students will participate in a series of discussions and activities providing a deeper appreciation of Monique and the Mango Rains.

All incoming freshmen are encouraged to participate in MUSINGS … Creative Reflections on Monique and the Mango Rains. SERVICE, STRUGGLE and PERSEVERANCE describe key elements in Kris Holloway’s compelling story of a rare friendship between a young Peace Corps volunteer and a midwife who became a legend. Students are invited to respond to these themes in the format of their choice. Students may select from the following categories:


Essay • Poetry • Short Story    


Visual Art (2 or 3D) • Photography • Dance • Music

LETTERS entries: Must be submitted by email as a Word attachment, by mail, or in person.

ARTS entries: Performance Arts must be submitted on DVD. Visual Arts entries must be submitted in a form ready to exhibit, i.e. mounted for display, fully assembled, etc.

All entries may either be posted on the OCUReads web page and/or displayed during the author’s visit. 

Cash Prizes will be awarded:


1st Place: $250.00
2nd Place: $150.00
3rd Place: $100.00


1st Place: $250.00
2nd Place: $150.00
3rd Place: $100.00

Each winner will also be invited to attend dinner with the author, Kris Holloway on Thursday, August 21, 2014. 

Submission Guidelines

Please include your name, phone number, email address, hometown and major.

You may submit your entry by mail, in person or by email to:

First-Year Experience
Attn: Lee Hall
2501 N. Blackwelder
Oklahoma City, OK 73106


subject: OCUReads MUSINGS

Any questions? Please call 405.208.7908

Deadline: Wednesday, August 6, 2014                           

Winners will be announced on Thursday, August 21, 2014, before Kris Holloway’s presentation.