Rated of 5
by John W. (Clayton, Missouri)
Doesn't Live Up to the Hype
My wife and I are extremely active volunteers in the non-profit sectors focused on helping under resourced segments of the population domestically and globally so after reading the description of the book I couldn't wait to read it. Unfortunately the content didn’t live up to the hype.
Ken Budd's memoir is more than a travel journal of his travels to many different places including Ecuador, Kenya, China, and Palestine. The reader does get a brief look into these places and people, one that is not a typical tourist's view. It is the personal journey view that falls short. The author doesn’t express clearly how his voluntourism experiences changes or redefines him. He spends more time describing other volunteers and his interactions with them than he does the people and projects in a very detached manner.
On a positive note the book shares the challenges and rewards of voluntourism and it is presented in a useful perspective for anyone considering such a trip. I did find the Bethlehem and Kenya sections very interesting, but not enough for me to recommend the book.