Book Review – Kids, Camels and Cairo by Jill Dobbe

Book Review – Kids, Camels and Cairo by Jill Dobbe

by Brittany 2 Comments

Book Review – Kids, Camels and Cairo

by Jill Dobbe

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1 Review

   
 Rose Elliot
Findling Land, Book Blogger
 Brittany, Top Reviewer
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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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free book : Travels with Vamper by George Critchlow

free book : Travels with Vamper by George Critchlow

free book Giveaway : Travels with Vamper:  A Graybeard’s Journey

by George Critchlow

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Genre:

Travel / Memoir

Blurb:

In the course of a two-month solo road trip through the West, the Bible Belt, and Missouri River Country during the 2016 presidential election, Critchlow reflects on race, politics, religion, war, and retirement. He weaves together legal tales, personal anecdotes, people, places, and past experiences to explore the competing narratives that divide America today. He also offers perspective on what retirement means for a generation of baby boomers.

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Free Book : Kids, Camels, & Cairo by Jill Dobbe

Free Book : Kids, Camels, & Cairo by Jill Dobbe

  • Free Book : Kids, Camels, & Cairo

by Jill Dobbe

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– Ends << Extended: 3rd Mar 2018

Genre:

Memoir, Travel

Blurb:

My eyes popped open the second I heard the call to prayer resound through the air. At 7:00 A.M., I walked out onto a rare quiet Cairo street and waited for the school van to pick me up. Climbing onto the van, I found a seat alongside the foreign and Muslim teachers, where I was only one of a few women not wearing hijab. It was Sunday morning, the start of another Islamic week of trying to discipline rich and apathetic students.

Traveling across the globe to work in an international school in Cairo, Egypt, was not exactly the glamorous lifestyle I thought it would be. I cherished my travels to the Red Sea, delighted in visiting the Pyramids, and appreciated the natural wonders of the Nile River. However, I also spent days without electricity or internet, was leered at by rude Egyptian men, breathed in Cairo’s cancerous black smog, and coaxed school work from students.

Message from the Author:

KIDS, CAMELS, & CAIRO is a lighthearted read about my personal experiences as an educator abroad. Whether you’re an educator, a traveler, or just a curious reader, you will be astounded at this honest and riveting account of learning to live in an Islamic society, while confronting the frustrating challenges of being an educator in a Muslim school.

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Book Review – Illegal by John Dennehy

Book Review – Illegal by John Dennehy

by gobbler 0 Comments

Illegal

by John Dennehy

I must admit that when I saw “Illegal” in its crowd-funding days on an American crowdfunding platform which I don’t want to mention by name, I never made much of it. See, I’m not big on memoirs. After I’ve learned that this American Crowdfunding Publishing firm had deicded to give “Illega”l the boot (in a very non-affable manner) I’ve decided to give it a chance. And boy am I glad that I did!

John Dennehy recalls from memory and scribbles, the account of his life in Ecuador as an “Illegal gringo”, during days in which the country have seen turmoil and citizen unrest, coup d’etat and more. He has been living in the heart of it all, a privilege kid from the states, who decided (post 9/11 and the growing nationalism Iraq war) to start a clean slate.

John teaches English in a few Ecuadorian institutes, falls in love with the beautiful Lucia, and become one of the locals in the city of Latacunga, a relatively unknown and un-touristical place.

The writing is virgin, if not naive, which makes this novel so endearing. John account of events is interesting, in a way which will hold you by the collar and literally would not let you drop the book (or Kindle Device). The author emphasizes throughout the novel the difference between reality as he sees it and common perceptions in the US, by publishing the State Department’s travel warnings in regards to countries such as Ecuador and Colombia. We also grow with him, and see how he evovles and get disillusioned with the romance of revolution, connecting the sites in the end of his story to the same nationalism he had fled from, in the states.

A must read for anyone with an open mind, for travel lovers, for “mochileros”, and for even for fiction lovers like myself! 5 stars without any doubt.

 

 
Free Book – Illegal by John Dennehy

Free Book – Illegal by John Dennehy

Free Book – Illegal by John Dennehy

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memoir, biography, travel

 

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Illegal tells the true story of love and deception, revolutions and deportations as it chronicles the escapades and the trials of John Dennehy. Naïve New Yorker, Dennehy refuses to be part of the feverish nationalism of post 9/11 America. His search for hope in the midst of choicelessness takes him to Ecuador, where he falls in love with firebrand Lucia, who perfects his broken Spanish and they find solidarity in the brewing social revolution. Dennehy is deported but he has found something worth fighting for. This pulsating story of violent protests, illegal border crossings and loss of innocence raises questions about the futility of borders and irresistible power of nationalism.

 

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