I am an English teacher in China and can now read and write some Chinese.I have been to 13 countries on 4 continents.I am an avid audiophile
Phil is an ex military elite from England and his stories of handling the customs officers with their Blackberries and white shirts are really amazing. We get to hear about all the intimidation that goes on in DRC. He buys into none of it, and always makes the immigration guys shake his hand and make eye contact with him before he gives in to their requests.
The more interesting part of the story is his interaction with the native fishermen, who are very poor and lead very austere lives, but know their way through the jungle quite well. Phil speaks French, Swahili and practices other languages along the way while he plies his canoe up to 12 hours a day.
In some ways it reminded me of Kira Salak's book where she kayaks 600 miles through Mali to the city of Timbuktu. She is treated well in some places and with great hostility in other places.
Both adventurers are fantastic athletes, and both are a bit crazy in my opinion, to put themselves in knowingly dangerous parts of the world. It must be part of their psyche to tempt fate and test their abilities beyond what most of us would consider reasonable.
This man's five month journey from Zambia to the Atlantic Ocean is a harrowing tale where we are treated to his deepest thoughts during stressful situations.
The author was just an average guy with a love for animals that moved from Australia to Africa for a backpacking trip and ended up staying for seven years.The stories of his encounters with lions,elephants,leopards,and birds were captivating.He spoke in a very relaxed cadence,which made it easy to follow.The stories about Rolls Royce the funny guide from Botswana,as well as the stories about the drowning and the vehicle breakdown on the way to South Africa were equally fascinating. The story about the lazy worker who discovered a snake that was longer than at first thought was another great story.You could at times feel the author's fear,stupidity and wonder.You could feel his pain,elation and basically take a very educational armchair safari.This has to be one of the best audiobooks I have heard recently.It was entertaining and educational.My only regret was it was too short.
This was a very heartfelt book that set out to divulge the different factions that have been warring for years on this fantastic island.It also delves into the aftermath of the tsunami that devastated the island.I find myself compelled to want to travel to this country,but think I would simply avoid the north and its myriad of problems.The preserve in the southwest where birds and numerous rare tree species really seemed like a fantastic place to go.
The author really does her best to try and penetrate the complexities of Asian society.I live in China and have studied the language in depth,but often still feel I am on the outside after nearly three years of living here.I felt like she was able to really know the people there better because they were fluent in English.