Rated of 5
by Mary D. (Claremont, CA) The Voluntourist
I'm having a bit of trouble finding words to review this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the vignettes, the tales of the people and places Ken Budd told. However, there was always an underlying bit of self-centeredness, brought on by the death of his father and his realization that he and his wife would never have children of their own, by choice. It seems to me that this important part of a couples' life should have been clearly settled and understood before marriage and the passage of many years. It was a constant subject, one that he couldn't seem to come to terms with; he chose to deal with it by leaving to go off volunteering around the world, leaving friends, family and wife at important times in their lives. Unfortunately, this colored my opinion of the book and the small goals he achieved by helping. Also, even though he mentioned that the topic of these short-term volunteers (two weeks seems to be average) and the possible negative effect it may have had on the people was discussed in depth, it was never resolved to my satisfaction. All that being said, this is a good introductory book for those who are interested in voluntouring; his descriptions of the housing, transportation, amenities, and the people were all well detailed and documented. Mr. Budd hinted that he and his wife had some lengthy discussions on the subject of her decision to not become a mother, but that was never brought up in the book, and I wonder if he is still feeling "sorry for himself."
Rated of 5
by Mark B. (Jackson, MI) A Great Read for Mission-Minded People
Ken Budd's newest book, The Voluntourist, was an inspiring read about his many trips to serve the people of the world. For someone who does not travel much outside of the United States, it was wonderful reading about Mr. Budd's various experiences in Costa Rica, China, Ecuador; Palestine; Kenya; and my favorite, New Orleans. It was so much fun to hear about the interesting parts of the world, even as Budd and his wife ministered to the many people in need throughout the world. With his great guide to designing your own voluntourist adventure, I could see this being a great study adventure for a small group in almost any denomination, or just a group of friends who want to serve. As a clergy and worship musician, it will be a book I recommend for mission committees and those who like to travel and serve.
Rated of 5
by Gina Starr P. (Richfield, North Carolina) The "The Voltourist"
This book was informational as well a little slow. I enjoyed this piece of work because of of the reasons why Ken Budd wanted to make a difference within his world and the world outside his comfort zone. However I found it slow and sometimes confusing. Many times I did not recognize if he was talking about the past, or the present. It was scattered and I spent a lot of time going back to see what he was writing about one time or another. It was a long time for me to get through this book as is not normal for me. But after finishing this book I now know why I took it slow, it was to make you think, feel and listen and question. I would recommend this book if one was to seek a deeper meaning of all the complexities we all take at times for granted.
Rated of 5
by Sharalynne P. (Munster, IN) Not Interesting To Me
I don't usually do this but I'm giving up on this book after reading it about one half way through. It's not at all interesting to me and I can't figure out why, if he truly wants to help people, he doesn't do it here in the United States. Why does he have to go to China to help autistic children when he doesn't speak the language and he can help autistic children here? I know his purpose is to contribute to the world but I guess I'm just not getting it. Does he really want to help people or travel? Sorry, I guess this book just wasn't for me.
Rated of 5
by Penny P. (Santa barbara, Calif) A travel log
I found this book interesting but as others have mentioned it did read more like a travelog. In some way, it also was a lot like a male version of Eat, Pray, Love. I found the fact that he so regretted not having children very sad. I think the death of a parent always makes us think of our own immortality and often causes us to reassess our lives. Reaching outside of our comfort zone, helps us to gain strength and confidence. I do think this is what the author was trying to covey, although to me, it was a bit superficial. I am an avid traveler and have been to the countries mentioned so that part was very interesting. In my book, both traveling and volunteering are two very worthwhile adventures.
Rated of 5
by Eileen P. (Pittsford, NY) Striving towards Eat, Pray, Love
After the unexpected death of his father, Ken Budd sets off on a quest to make sure that his life matters. This sincere but superficial book is the recounting of that quest. While parts of the book were delightful and funny, other parts I struggled to get through as they contained way too much detail and not enough narrative drive.
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