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Finding Myself in Borneo: Sojourns in Sabah
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Finding Myself in Borneo: Sojourns in Sabah

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4.68  ·  Rating details ·  22 ratings  ·  17 reviews
An honest and buoyant chronicle of a young Canadian man’s adventures during 1968 –70, while teaching secondary school as a CUSO volunteer in Sabah, Malaysia (North Borneo). Neill McKee learns the craft of teaching, the Malay language and local customs, and gains many friends in his small community. He climbs the highest peak in Southeast Asia—Mount Kinabalu, has a love aff ...more
Paperback, 260 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by NBFS Creations
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Sylvia Exley
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My daughter Sylvia and I very much enjoyed this book, although reading it gave us the impression that we “have not done much!” The book exudes a tremendous picture of youthful energy. The emphasis is always on the adventure, and is not merely a chronicle of the problems which the author inevitably encountered. And it is all told with such humour! We felt that we had learned a lot about the cultures and complexities of the world there and, by extension, in all the other areas which we think that ...more
Anthony
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A journey of self discovery leads to fascinating discoveries in author Neil McKee’s “Finding Myself in Borneo: Sojourns in Sabah. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis
Finding Myself in Borneo is an honest and buoyant chronicle of a young Canadian man’s adventures during 1968-70, while teaching secondary school as a CUSO volunteer in Sabah, Malaysia (North Borneo). Trave
...more
Rachel
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Neill McKee’s honest and thought-provoking memoir, "Finding Myself in Borneo: Sojourns in Sabah", is the telling of his time overseas while working with the Canadian University Service Overseas (CUSO), mainly from 1968-1970. After college, McKee had the option to work in the family business, but opted for more of a life of adventure. As soon as he stepped foot on the foreign soil, he became immersed in its culture and past-times and developed a love for his students and the area all around him i ...more
Fiona Ingram
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Finding Myself In Borneo is a colorful memoir with a difference! The book is described as author Neill McKee's honest and buoyant chronicle of a young Canadian man's adventures during 1968-70, while teaching secondary school as a CUSO (Canadian University Service Overseas) volunteer in Sabah, Malaysia (North Borneo). But it is much more than that for any reader. Neill relates with detailed, vivid descriptions his ups and down with the various cultural, social, and political markers of the era th ...more
Sanjeeda
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In Finding Myself in Borneo by Neill McKee takes the readers on a time travel of Borneo of the late1960s when he landed there on a teaching assignment in a secondary school as a CUSO volunteer. With adventure in his blood, McKee dared himself to explore the remote and inaccessible places while he had a break from teaching. He learnt the Malay language soon enough so that he could communicate with the people and get familiar with the local customs. He thus had an insider’s knowledge of the cultur ...more
Bruce Williamson
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Borneo is one of those places that immediately evokes a sense of exocitism, adventure, mystery. No matter that now Kota Kinabalu is filled with malls and expressways. Neill McKee captures a period of time in Sabah that was ripe in promise and hope five years after achieving independence by becoming one of the constituent members of the nation of Malaysia. For volunteers it was the best of times; post colonial and pre tourist. 1968 was the year of student sit ins, riots outside the Democratic Par ...more
Libby
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed Finding Myself in Borneo. It was an enthralling memoir. Neill McKee is very descriptive, and goes into background details, talking about the history of Borneo. You can tell he’s passionate about his experience, and wishes to share it with others.

Finding Myself in Borneo has inspired me!.
As I read, I thought:,

“I would like to try teaching in an underdeveloped country”.

My favorite parts of the story were:

• McKee’s relationships with the n
...more
Ron Hunt
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Finding Myself In Borneo
By Neill McKee

What a delightful read! I was hooked at the front cover, showing Mt Kinabalu and the young volunteer on the Norton motorcycle. I have a similar picture of my wife and me on our Norton taken at about the same time, only on the other side of the mountain.

From the front cover onward, the memories came flooding back. Our experiences and observations were very much the same, (except for the sex, drugs, rock & roll..... and Frodo). McKee has
...more
Jerry
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, coming-of-age
When Neill McKee was trying to grow up he traveled from his home in Canada to a comparatively primitive place, the island of Borneo. Trying to grow up is hard enough, but he chose to do it in a foreign land. He does not portray himself as a swashbuckling debonair James Bond type of hero. On the contrary he was a bit of a nerd, whose greatest pleasure was fantasizing that JRR Tolkien had modeled the geography of Lord of the Rings on this very island.

Out of the exotic scenes and foreig
...more
Erik McManus
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was very interesting. It was very cool to feel like you were a part of this man's travels in Borneo as he discovered new cultures. He is also a Canadian traveler which makes it that much more awesome.

He tells the story in a very enriching way and it is probably because he makes documentary films. He just has that vision to bring a story to life and make it personal at the same time. Did I mention that he writes with such humor you will be laughing while reading (pretty sure
...more
Monika Ghattas
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing

What a great story! One can’t help but become engaged in McKee’s adventures and experiences in such an unusual locale. He recognized the importance of staying out of local politics and feuds and focused instead on the lively and rich panorama of Sabah culture and setting. His founding of the North Borneo Frodo Society is, of course, a highlight, but there are many others, like his motorcycle rides through the countryside, his encounters with a confused school headmaster, and his initial frustrat
...more
Sara Dehaan
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
McKee shares his service volunteer adventure as a secondary school teacher he began shortly after he graduated from college, as well as his return trips. He is so open to learning from an unfamiliar culture and his descriptions of his experiences are cinematic (He is a filmmaker). He includes historical background and cultural details about Borneo, and there is a Malay glossary in the back. If you have interest in service learning or living abroad, planning a trip to Borneo and Malaysia, or read ...more
Jeanette
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In Finding Myself in Borneo, Neill McKee mixes his memories of teaching in Sabah in the late 60’s with historical, geographical and political anecdotes about the area. He traverses the region on a motorcycle, climbs Mount Kinabalu, and finds his passion for film making. His love for Sabah and its very diverse population shines through in his writing. Returning years later he meets with a number of his students and confirms that, indeed, his years of teaching in Kota Belud made a difference. I lo ...more
Joyce Hertzoff
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating account of the authors experiences as a member of the Canadian equivalent of the Peace Corps, the CUSO in the late 1960’s. He taught in Sabah, Malaysia (North Borneo), and explored southeast Asia. The people he met, the sights he saw and the events he experienced make for a great read. He does an excellent job of conveying his happiness with what he learned, and what he brought to his students and the residents of Sabah.
Sreevarsha Sreejith
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Finding Myself in Borneo; Sojourns in Sabah is more a travelogue than a memoir. They detail a young man's adventures in the remote and exotic wilderness of the South Asia of the 60's and 70's. It manages to take you from the delight of discovery to the toils of travel to humorous anecdotes all while sitting on your sofa, sipping a cup of tea.

For a more detailed review, please visit my blog at https://sreevarshasreejith.blogspot.c....
Nancy Hiser
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Documentation of an interesting time the author enjoyed as a young man serving in Borneo as a teacher for the Canadian equivalent of the Peace Corps. His cultural observations of the diverse people of the time (1968-70), his youthful experiences there, and his retelling of travel episodes make it a
thoughtful picture of a time and place 50 years ago.
Andy
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, non-fiction
An absolutely wonderful memoir. McKee's book is far more than a look back at lessons learned as a young man (although it certainly is that) and a reflection on how we (and places) change. The work is filled with adventure, humor, sadness, and joy. I hope you'll join Neill's adventure.
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Sep 18, 2019
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Oct 23, 2019
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Jan 15, 2019
Neill McKee
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Reflections on life overseas 2 5 Jan 31, 2019 02:10PM