Thursday, June 9, 2011

Foreign Service Officer Patricia McArdle Cites Girl Scout Experience in Novel

NPR reports on Patricia McArdle—a retired Foreign Service officer and Author who has served in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe and Afghanistan. Her debut novel, Farishta, tells the story of Angela Morgan, a diplomat whose husband died in the bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut in 1983. Like McArdle, Angela is summoned to serve for a year in an isolated British Army compound in Afghanistan. One story in the novel was inspired by an experience McArdle had while on patrol with British soldiers.

McArdle noticed groups of Afghan children dragging large bundles of kindling back to their homes in the blistering heat. "I remembered that I had built a solar cooker when I was a Girl Scout many years ago," says McArdle. "I wondered if the Afghans knew about solar cooking because they had all this sun and they have no wood."Then McArdle searched online, and found instructions for building cookers on a site called Solar Cookers International. "The people were fascinated," she says.

Has your Girl Scout experience ever led you to teach others?