Bill Bryson's African Diary PDF à Bill Bryson's Epub


Bill Bryson's African Diary In the early fall of 2002, famed travel Writer Bill Bryson journeyed to Kenya at the invitation of CARE International, the charity dedicated to working with local communities to eradicate poverty around the world He arrived with a set of mental images of Africa gleaned from television broadcasts of low budget Jungle Jim movies in his Iowa childhood and a single viewing of the film version of Out of Africa Also with some worries about tropical diseases, insects and large predators But the vibrant reality of Kenya and its people took over the second he deplaned in Nairobi, and this diary records Bill Bryson s impresssions of his trip with his inimitable trademark style of wry observation and curious insight From the wrenching poverty of the Kibera slum in Nairobi to the meticulously manicured grounds of the Karen Blixen house and the human fossil riches of the National Museum, Bryson registers the striking contrasts of a postcolonial society in transition He visits the astoundingly vast Great Rift Valley undergoes the rigors of a teeth rattling train journey to Mombasa and a hair whitening flight through a vicious storm and visits the refugee camps and the agricultural and economic projects where dedicated CARE professionals wage noble and dogged war against poverty, dislocation and corruption. This should really be Bill Bryson s Kenyan Diary, since that s the only country he visits I had been looking for this book for a while, but I didn t realize that it was a slim charity volume, with all proceeds going to CARE As such, it does its job, presenting the excellent work of CARE and other organizations in Kenya, with a dash of Bryson s signature wit It did its job, showing the country s poverty but also its beauty, and the tireless work of those who are investing in the country through model farms, microloans, and other self sufficiency projects I ll be making a donation, since I bought the book used. All the Bryson goodness you ve come to know and love at half the calories Actually, it s like a 10th the size In fact, the worst part about Bill Bryson s African Diary is its shortness This slim volume is about awareness and philanthropy rather than a literary or journalistic endeavor for its own sake Bryson heads to Kenya to check out CARE International s charitable works Times are tough there Clean drinking water is at a premium There s some slight heart string pulling, but it s not Sally Struthers sappy Just the right amount of compassion Tidbits of Bryson s trademark humor are wedged in between the descriptions of the ravaged slums and gorgeous beaches His style and low key flair are present in small quantities This would be perfect for the Bryson noob who wanted to test the waters before diving into the deep end of his chunky books. In 2002, CARE International invited Bill Bryson on an eight day trip to tour its humanitarian work in Kenya with him writing it up into this, Bill Bryson s African Diary something of a misnomer as Bryson only visits Kenya The entire proceeds of the short book will go to help the kinds of people depicted inside it and it s a wonderful read too As you would expect, the horrors of the country s widespread poverty aren t ignored as Bryson visits Kibera, a shanty town on the outskirts of Kenya s capital city Nairobi, with a population of between 700,000 and 1 million people The conditions are appalling and thousands are HIV positive and yet the place officially doesn t exist and is ignored by the Kenyan government He also visits a refugee camp where the people there are stuck in a bureaucratic limbo, stateless, just existing, with little chance of a future But the book isn t all a sobering guilt trip as Bryson also takes in the wonders of the Kenyan National Museum which houses 500 of the roughly 5000 fossilized human bones in existence, and Olorgasailie, an area where early humans made tools for a million years There are also gently humorous passages in Bryson s inimitable style involving the dangerous and poorly maintained railways and the nightmare of flying in a light aircraft during a storm The most interesting and inspiring part was seeing a bank called Wedco give loans to develop small businesses, helping give some of these people a shot at a real life that they wouldn t have without it And the small village of Ogongo Tir where CARE installed a new well for them but gave them responsibility over it underlining that, while they need a hand to get the ball rolling, the people there want to take control of their own destinies rather than depend forever on the West I hesitate to use the word but Bill Bryson s African Diary is entertaining, as well as informative, with Bryson serving as a genial conduit to learning about CARE International and its outstanding work in Kenya It s a quick read but a memorable and moving one with an excellent cause at its heart well worth picking up especially as the purchase price goes to help these people s lives become a little better. CARE, an international aid agency headquartered in the UK, asked Bill Bryson to visit their Kenyan operation and write about it Somewhere along the lines the idea changed to include publishing a book and using all profits as a donation to charity, with a small amount of the 12 cover price used for printing and distribution costs Most of the participants were volunteering their time.Sounds like a great idea, right Except, the book itself is disappointing It s a novelette It s 40 pages in an undersized book with big margins About 90% of the content is him worrying about dying in the trains, planes and automobiles that might crash along his journey Only about 10% covered actual Kenyan life and country Almost no history was included in complete contrast to the book I read prior, In a Sunburned Country It s not that it s badly written but it could have been so much better He visits a refugee camp and barely talks about it for a paragraph, while devoting three pages to the airplane flight back He visits a micro lending organization and spends a sentence talking about his interaction with the borrowers Ironically, he praises a local Kenyan farmer growing non indigenous crops, the same action he highly criticized in In a Sunburned Country for damaging the Australian outback.This was a great idea under executed And it s a shame, because I think had it been done right, say trade the hard cover for an additional 40 50 pages of content, and this would have been great Having a better story would have sold books making even money for the charity I ll give him a C for Charity, but a D for leaving the real story out of the book Bill short changed himself, Kenya, and CARE by pulling his punches in the name of charity.

  • Hardcover
  • 55 pages
  • Bill Bryson's African Diary
  • Bill Bryson
  • English
  • 26 December 2019
  • 9780767915069

About the Author: Bill Bryson

William McGuire Bill Bryson, OBE, FRS was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951 He settled in England in 1977, and worked in journalism until he became a full time writer He lived for many years with his English wife and four children in North Yorkshire He and his family then moved to New Hampshire in America for a few years, but they have now returned to live in the UK.In The Lost Continent, Bil


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