Book Review – Kids, Camels and Cairo

by Jill Dobbe

Average rating (all reviews) :


1 Review

 Rose Elliot
Findling Land, Book Blogger
 Brittany, Top Reviewer
BookGobbler & Brittany’s Pages



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One of the Best Travel Memoirs I’ve Ever Read

A little-known fact about me is that I spent part of a summer in college teaching abroad in Shanghai and Qingdao, China. In Shanghai, my team and I ran a three week ESL summer day camp for freshman nursing students. After that, a few of us went to Qingdao to help with a new ESL school. We got to do some informal, one-on-one tutoring as we introduced some neighborhood kids to English. It was a lot of fun! I would love to do something like it again and loving hearing about other’s experiences teaching abroad. So when Brittany texted me “Kids, Camels, and Cairo” as an option for this month’s buddy read, I jumped at the chance to read it.

“Kids, Camels, and Cairo” by Jill Dobbe provides an inside look at what life is like when living and teaching abroad. Dobbe and her husband are no strangers to teaching internationally. In fact, this book takes place after Dobbe and her husband had taken a three year break from teaching internationally, but continued to feel the pull of their past experiences and desire for more. Dobbe shares her experience as they navigated an international job fair, found her dream job as an elementary school principle in Cairo, Egypt, and as she and her husband traveled, lived, and worked in the Middle East.

Dobbe takes you with her as she explores the pyramids, rides a camel, visits the Dead Sea, and crosses cultural barriers as an administrator at an Egyptian elementary school. She shares her struggles, victories, mishaps, lessons learned (the easy and hard way!), and so much more. Reading this book felt like I’d hopped on a plane and gone to Cairo with her and her family!

My only complaints about “Kids, Camels, and Cairo” kind of go hand-in-hand. I was expecting her to talk more about her experience in the school itself. While she did share things here and there, the focus was more on her social and travel life. This was perfectly fine! It just was not what I was expecting, partly due to the book description. I also wish that Kids, Camels, and Cairo was about a hundred pages longer. If it had been longer, she could have included more of her school experience. Two years is a long time! I got a lot out of the story, but the shortness of the book left me wishing I had gotten much more.

Part of a buddy read, posted on  Finding Land, Rose’s Book Blog



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One of the Best Travel Memoirs I’ve Ever Read

Kids, Camels, & Cairo by Jill Dobbe has been one of the best travel memoirs I’ve ever read. Jill’s writing is concise and charming, I would seriously read anything that she writes. 

Jill and her husband decided to sell their house and teach abroad. They’ve done it before. After visiting job fairs, they decided on positions at a school in Cairo, Egypt. So one sunny day, they packed up their things and moved their lives across the globe.
The Dobbes experienced many difficulties, including language, religion, and culture. But they remained open minded and adapted really well. 

Jill’s book is part travel book and part memoir. I really admire people who write their own personal stories for others to read. It’s a brave act, in my opinion, as your personal actiones rather than your story – are then judged. Jill has approached this book so well. It might be the teacher in her, but everything she wrote in this book is so interesting: It flows so well from story to story and I soaked up every single word. I just wish it wasn’t so short!

This book could easily be 5 stars, but I rated it lower due to a personal disagreement with one decision she made, which overshadowed my experience. However, I’m not going to go into detail – read this fantastic book and judge for yourself!

Part of a buddy read, to be posted Feb 28th 2018, on Britanny’s Pages




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