Paper Boat by Ken Kerkhoff and S.M. Pejathaya

Creating Understanding

“Paper Boat is a testament to the bond that is forged between two individuals from different cultures, who speak different languages. The willingness of a young Peace Corps volunteer to learn and appreciate a new culture is inspiring. The key is in their storytelling and open hearts, revealing an ability to appreciate each others differences and discover similarities. Through their stories, both men create an understanding that should be a role model for all people of goodwill in every country.”

     —Marylin R.

Very Enjoyable / Heartwarming

Paper Boat: Discovering India with a Master Storyteller is a very enjoyable read. The intertwining of the two authors as they discover life at a very impressionable age was well written and interesting. The reader can feel the warmth of the hearts of both Kerkhoff and Pejathaya as they tell their stories of living and working in India. This reader would see this as a very necessary tool for anyone interested in the culture of India, volunteering abroad and human nature in general.”

   —Mary Lee D.

This will be a Classic

“This is a warm, wise and insightful book. The stories are engaging and intimately detailed: you ‘hear the silence; feel the creaking wheels of the bullock cart.; see the carefree children running carefree across the dusty dirt floor . . . Here you can observe the reverence for life in its simplest form.’ This is a classic.”

     —Bill T.

Paper Boat takes you on an exceptional journey of discovery

”This is an extraordinary book, weaving together the lives of a Peace Corps Volunteer in a rural town in South India and his friend, a wonderful story teller. The book is far more than the tale of a Peace Corps Volunteer. It is the story of two young men coming of age, each far from the comfort and familiarity of their own home, each coming to terms with themselves, with a new home, different people and climate. And each experiences the joys, the sadness and richness of life. Perjathaya has lived a fascinating life, a self-made man who has given of himself to family, friends and total strangers. Ken Kerkhoff is an exceptional individual who, placed in a strange new place, found the resources to grow and thrive.

For those who have served as Peace Corps Volunteers or in similar vocations, the book will help friends and family understand why that experience was so important for them. For those who would like unique and wise insights into both a different part of the world and the hearts and minds of two exceptional people, Paper Boat will inform, educate and inspire while bringing the occasional chuckle and maybe even a tear or two.”


Sail on this PAPER BOAT to discover the culture and the people of southern India

“Two young men, with a common interest in agriculture, meet, share experiences and become life-long friends. One is a newly arrived Peace Corps volunteer to India; the other grew up in this exotic land. We can experience Kerkhoff’s apprehension as a newcomer to a country foreign to his Minnesota upbringing. As he encounters the graciousness of his new friend, Pejathaya, he is eager to meld into this environment and provide assistance to the farming communities. We are treated to a view of the rich culture of southern India through Kerkhoff’s experiences. He describes his activities and those of the other volunteers, and transitions into the stories written by Pejathaya, who is truly a wonderful storyteller. The animals, both wild and tame, the culture, and the very people of India come to life in our minds as Pejathaya relates his encounters. The genuine compassion and understanding of Pejathaya are evident in his stories. Our hearts go out to Blind Diwaker and his wife, Netra, and we suffer through the holy pilgrimage to the Ganges River. This book is a very insightful tour of the south of India.”

    —Mavis S.

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