File Size: 1959 KB
Print Length: 278 pages
Publisher: Eland Publishing (October 30, 2016)
Publication Date: October 30, 2016
This book has its own good qualities. The best is the writer herself. She can describe her situations aptly; I greatly appreciate her language. She is genuinely thinking about learning about the places she visits, and in meeting their people. She isn't afraid of new experiences, and understands how to laugh at mistakes that she makes, and be flexible when needed. Another likeable aspect of the book is the places she visits. In contrast to many trips, which only visit big or popular areas, Murphy makes a point of visiting non-touristy villages where she can actually see what Africa life is like. Finally, while her discussions on AIDS are difficult to read, they seem to be more frank than could be found in most books.
However, this guide did have some disadvantages. The biggest weakness that I saw was the girl opinionated responses to situations. While her thoughts are certainly very likely to be correct than those of several tourists who just go in, take some pictures of famous monuments, and remove again, she certainly has her own share of bias. It made myself uneasy to read it. We have read a few of her other books; I am inclined to admire the girl and think I have a fair clue of roughly how much to take or reject from what she says. Yet in this book she spent significantly less time on statement and far more hours (it seemed) on sharing opinions. She also didn't seem to be to know precisely what the girl thought. For example, the girl criticized many missionaries for pushing abstinence, blithely disregarding the cultural ramifications of that. Yet at times the girl indicated that the solution was the current situation, apart from with more condoms, at times a return to polygamy was advised, and at times she thought the Africans should indeed go for sex with just one parter, their partner. And would women best be helped by attaining more freedom, in a Western style which did not fit with the relax of their culture? In sticking with African values that cruelly exploited them and left them extremely vulnerable to AIDS? Granted, no-one knows the answers to these questions and so uncertainty is obviously okay; however, I felt that the girl overcriticized others who truly want to help.
All in all, this guide was a good guide, and I would recommend reading it. It offers a great deal of information in an interesting way. Nevertheless , I would caution all readers to take her comments with a grain of sodium, and consider carefully the girl opinions., Ms. Dervla Murphy, an intrepid and courageous woman, takes us on a bicycle journey in Southeastern Africa (Kenya to Uganda to Tanzania to Malawi to Zambia and ultimately Zimbabwe). We experience these countries via her bicycle and her opinionated eyes.
Used to do some cycling in The united states when I was much younger; Ms. Murphy is doing this at the age of 59 on roads that are far tougher than something here in North The usa – many of the girl roads were unpaved. She definitely has an iron metabolic rate!
The vitality of this book is the countless different encounters the author has with groups of men and women – many of them very poor. Her trajectory, which she did in the early ‘90’s, takes the girl through AIDS ravaged areas. She did not know at the start of her journey that AIDS was to dominate every conversation she experienced. There are impressive discussion posts which ensue revolving around the epidemic, the role of women, the use (or non-use) of condoms, polygamy, and Africa’s growing role on earth. Some of the people she satisfies experienced their entire households lost (or in the process of) to the AIDS epidemic.
Because the girl is cycling and a lady, she is anomaly. The particular cycling puts her on an eye-level contact with everyone.
What is very reassuring is the needed and unsolicited assistance the girl gets, now and then, from the most destitute of men and women – male and female.
It is unhappy to think that since this book was written over 20 years ago, almost all of the people she met have likely died.
This is a very worthwhile guide for the diversity of encounters and the energy of Ms. Murphy. She must be high octane!
Page 235-36 (my book)
Outside, the schoolboys came crowding around the window above the sink... to observe myself sitting on the draining board – the only space available.
“They are amazed”, said the primary, “because we discuss together socially. Our traditions condemns this mixed-sex discussing, we say it leads only to misbehaviour. Men and women have nothing in common to discuss, they live in different worlds. Yet we know you have another tradition. ”, This guide does several things well. In times its a fascinating series of anthropological interviews. Then it's a sentimental travel guide: marvelling at panoramas. Or it's double barreled feminist advocacy. And it has good historical background scenes and provocative philosophical musings on development and politics in Africa.
Dervla takes no prisoners in humorously highlighting flaws in their self, elitists, traditionalists, expat development bandits, and ambivalent White Africans. Having conducted research and travelled in Africa over many years, I discovered her questions, naive mistakes, and ability to adapt to situations amazing. I remembered learning to love nshima in Zambia in 1984, as there was hardly ever anything else to enjoy. We recalled being hassled by immigration officials for venturing with "too little overseas exchange to support personally. " And I relived the horror of having a corrupt border patrol officer pocket my passport and walk away.
Dervla had the fortitude and charm to come out on top whenever: perhaps taking good thing about her privileged/vulnerable status as a lady tourist from Europe. I had to use different tactics as a long-term resident whoms an African American man. I bought this guide on a lark for at the planet Bank Bookstore. I'll be back again for more copies. It can a shame that it's out of print.
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