"Across African Sand is more than a fascinating adventure,
it is a hero's journey... Deutschle's account of taking a teaching position
in Botswana, living with the people, his three month, 3000 mile bicycle
trip through the Kalahari desert, and marrying a witch doctor's daughter,
shows how adaptable persistence can carry a person through many ordeals.
It also shows how a long struggle that engages all aspects of one's being—physical,
emotional, and spiritual—can lead to unexpected personal transformation."
—Al Siebert, PhD, author of The Survivor Personality
"Across African Sand is a compelling narrative that is part
ethnography and part biography… Through his vivid prose, Deutschle takes
the reader along with him, showing that reality as both exhilarating and
harsh, and he does so in just the right way. Having fortunes told
by seers, living in huts with dirt floors, subsisting sometimes on the
rather unappetizing equivalent of yogurt—all are part of living in the
Kalahari. Whether termed adventure or hardship, these things simply
constitute normal life to the people there. Demonstrating this is
precisely the point of an "insider’s view," and Deutschle does so brilliantly.
He uses words to paint a vivid picture, with himself in the center as both
witness and the subject. The tale is complicate, dizzying, and rewarding."
—Katharhynn Heidelberg, The Cortez Journal
"Engrossing… This book weaves his intimate experiences with
the Mapoka villagers and his arduous encounters with poisonous snakes,
stinging caterpillars, sunburn, and racism. But sharing his adventure
as he meets an entertaining assortment of people, all the time pushing
himself to complete the absurd task he’d set, is immensely rewarding."
—Spencer Rumsey, Newsday
"The author, an American-born teacher whose career has been primarily
overseas, gives a lively recounting of nearly five years in southern Africa,
in the village of Mapoka, Botswana. His stories provide an outsider's view
of traditional African society and culture. A dangerous bicycle ride across
the Kalahari and Namib deserts provides the framework for telling the story:
as he bikes across 3000 miles of sand, dodging lions and elephants, Deutschle
describes his life in Botswana through flashbacks... recommended..."
—Mark L. Grover, Library Journal
"A marvelous read for anyone fascinated by Africa—and an adventure
book which will satisfy all armchair travelers. Phil Deutschle is
a remarkable observer of peoples and places…and in this book he truly brings
Africa to life with all its eccentricities, superstitions and joy.
A must-read for anyone intent on understanding the real Africa."
—Matt Dickinson, BBC Film Director and author of The Other Side of Everest
In Across African Sand we have the story of an American expatriate,
author Phil Deutschle, who shares his experiences as a young village schoolteacher
in Botswana. Deutschle is comically impressed with himself as he
recounts his insistence on crossing and recrossing the Kalahari Desert
on a bicycle... The Kalahari bicycle trip allows Deutschle to observe the
lifestyles and attitudes of the people he meets, and the continuing challenges
and changes of the Kalahari’s stark physical beauty. While making
his strenuous and dangerous way across African sand, Deutschle encounters
all manner of flora and fauna, including man-eating ants and a black mamba
who likes his privacy... after countless calamities and near-catastrophes
in the Kalahari’s deadly ecosystem, the author finds himself thirsting
after that which he left behind...
—Mimi MacFarland, The Bloomsbury Review
"Another unusual and exciting book from Salem’s own specialty publisher,
DIMI Press. This is a first-person account of the author’s 3,000-mile
bicycle journey across the Kalahari and Namib Deserts of southern Africa.
An adventure—it is also full of revelations about the peoples of Africa.
Don’t try this trip yourself unless you’re in superb shape, but by all
means read about Phil Deutschle’s experiences. An armchair traveler’s
—Dan Hays, Statesman Journal