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Random Travel Challenge > Daina's Random Travels 2018

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message 1: by Daina (new)

Daina Jurika-Owen | 39 comments My countries are:
Kenya – want to read: “One Day I Will Write About This Place: A Memoir” by Binyavanga Wainaina (memoir)
Ukraine – Konstantin Paustovsky’s “Story of a Life” - have read some of his other books before and he is a master of subtle, poetic writing (memoir/fiction)
Belize – “Sastun: My Apprenticeship with a Maya Healer” by Rosita Arvigo – I have been to Belize several times and had interesting conversations with Belizeans about Maya healers and ‘old practices’… Want to know more.
Guinea – want to read: “The Human Cargo: A Journey Among Refugees” by Caroline Moorehead – Guinea is one of the places described (journalism/nonfiction about refugee plight)
Antigua and Barbuda – “Castaway in the Caribbean” by Janice Horton (romance and adventure)
St. Lucia – “The St. Lucia Island Club” by Brent Monahan (historic mystery)
Tajikistan – “My Neighborhood Sisters: the City Where Dreams Come True” by Gulsifat Shakhidi (fiction)
Angola – “The Book of Chameleons” by Jose Eduardo Agualusa (fiction/magic realism)
Ecuador -- tba


message 2: by Daina (new)

Daina Jurika-Owen | 39 comments I have started reading "One Day I Will Write..." from Kenya and it is quite fascinating. And "St Lucia Island Club".
Still, looking for the right book about Ecuador.


message 3: by Daina (new)

Daina Jurika-Owen | 39 comments I am taking Kenya book slowly because it is a vivid memoir, lots of scenes and reminiscences, but slowly moving, so i am reading it on and off.
Finished "St Lucia Island Club" (St Lucia), The St. Lucia Island Club: A John Le Brun Novel, Book 5 and cannot say I truly enjoyed it. It was a mystery, -- and I usually love mysteries -- but this one was too much into other social issues to be a true mystery... Also, I found descriptions of nature and the social context somewhat boring.
Also, finished Belize reading -- Sastun: One Woman's Apprenticeship with a Maya Healer and Their Efforts to Save the Vani and enjoyed it a lot. Very captivating! I learned a lot about Maya healing practices and the author's journey and her relationship with her teacher and mentor.
More to come!


message 4: by Daina (new)

Daina Jurika-Owen | 39 comments Finished Binyavanga Wainaina's "One Day I Will Write..." - it is very poetic and colorful. At first, I took it slowly but I loved the second part where it is more about different ethnic groups in Kenya, their traditions and about the author finding his way to writing and place in life in general. Learned a lot about Kenya and the neighboring countries as well, and the author's heritage. Fascinating family story as well. Next - on to Paustovsky!


message 5: by Daina (new)

Daina Jurika-Owen | 39 comments Had change of plans and read the book that was about Antigua and Barbuda – “Castaway in the Caribbean” by Janice Horton (romance and adventure). It was truly romance/adventure, but so close to the plot of the well-known movie "Six Days, Seven Nights" that I found it a bit too predictable to keep my interest. It had some attractive passages about the history of Caribbean and Antigua that I enjoyed.
Now, really onto Paustovsky.


message 6: by Hélène (last edited Jul 28, 2018 11:20PM) (new)

Hélène | 355 comments Hi Daina! I told you I intended to read Sastun: One Woman's Apprenticeship with a Maya Healer and Their Efforts to Save the Vani for my random travel to Belize, but then I changed my mind... Sorry about that! ;-)
A book I read about Guatemala made me want to learn more about people I had never heard of before: the Garifunas, a group of black people who could free themselves after the ship where they were held captured stranded on the coasts of Central America. So I read Belize, a travel memoir which dedicates a few chapters to their story...


message 7: by Daina (new)

Daina Jurika-Owen | 39 comments Hélène wrote: "Hi Daina! I told you I intended to read Sastun: One Woman's Apprenticeship with a Maya Healer and Their Efforts to Save the Vani for my random travel to Belize, but then I changed my ..."

Hi Helene, it is totally fine, and the Garifunas are a very interesting group with an amazing history. Actually, their descendents and culture are still there, most prominent in and around Dangriga. (And Belize City, I believe). Unique music and art.
How did you like that book, can you recommend?


message 8: by Hélène (new)

Hélène | 355 comments The book has been written in French and only been translated into Spanish. It's been written by a journalist who recounts his journey across Belize and tells about the history and the current way of life of the different groups he meets there. It's well written and would certainly bring back fond memories for someone like you who has travelled the country, but it's pretty superficial in my opinion... I don't know much more about the Garifunas now than before reading this book!


message 9: by Daina (new)

Daina Jurika-Owen | 39 comments Hélène wrote: "The book has been written in French and only been translated into Spanish. It's been written by a journalist who recounts his journey across Belize and tells about the history and the current way o..."

Thank you for explaining. I am not sure if I could try to read it in Spanish (do not know enough French) so I may have to wait until it gets translated into English. But the one about Maya healers was quite fascinating.


message 10: by Hélène (new)

Hélène | 355 comments OK, I'll try to read it too! :-)


message 11: by Daina (new)

Daina Jurika-Owen | 39 comments Hélène wrote: "OK, I'll try to read it too! :-)"

:) I'm considering "Beca Lamb" - one of GR members suggested when I was looking what to read about Belize. But I have to get done with all countries first.


message 12: by Hélène (new)

Hélène | 355 comments Yes, we really have a lot of "travelling" to do! :-)


message 13: by Daina (last edited Aug 26, 2018 02:50PM) (new)

Daina Jurika-Owen | 39 comments Have finished travelling to Ukraine via Konstantin Paustovsky’s “Story of a Life”. One of my 'golden oldies' - favorite classics. Read it in original. Will do Tajikistan next.


message 14: by Daina (new)

Daina Jurika-Owen | 39 comments Just finished my visit to Tajikistan with “My Neighborhood Sisters: the City Where Dreams Come True” by Gulsifat Shakhidi (fiction) . It read well although left me with a feeling that it was not as impressive as I would have liked it to be. Now, onto Angola!


message 15: by Daina (new)

Daina Jurika-Owen | 39 comments Finished “The Book of Chameleons”, which was in Angola, and have two more to go: Ecuador and Guinea.


message 16: by Daina (new)

Daina Jurika-Owen | 39 comments Visited Ecuador - just finished Janis Kent’s “Above the Snake Line” - one woman’s journey through breast cancer treatment and after that challenge is behind her, her moving to Ecuador. Amazed me how little people know and try to find out about the local culture although decide to live there.
Now, one more stop to make - Guinea. May select a different book though from the one I initially planned to read.


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