“I steeled myself for this interaction. Fact: I knew I could talk to people. Fact: Children were little people. Little, scary people. I took solace in the fact that if this demonstration went horribly wrong, I could probably outrun them.”
― Conor Grennan,
This book really struck a chord with me.
Now, I know the full title is really long and maybe a little self serving but bear with me, it’s worth it. I promise.
This is an autobiographical work of Conor Grennan and how his mission for an adventurous year abroad starts with his halfhearted attempt at volunteering in an orphanage in Nepal, in what is supposed to be a one time journey.
He doesn’t try to hide how much of an “ugly American” volun-tourist he was in the beginning, only signing on for the short term of volunteer work so that it would impress the people around him.
However, after he bonds with the children, and learns that they are victims of child trafficking who’s families are still alive, he starts truly becoming invested in the work he is doing, trekking for weeks to find these children’s families in the remote villages of the Himalayas.
His dedication and adoration for the children there is easily read in this novel, and it’s one that the reader can essentially feel coming through the pages. I, to absolutely nobody’s surprise, absolutely LOVED this book.
Two years ago, I went to Nepal on a school trip. We went trekking in to the mountains, and on the way there we stopped in multiple small villages. We played with the children and talked with the people there, and generally tried to learn as much as possible about their culture.
It was an amazing experience, one I would give anything to have again, and this book just really was a fantastic way to reflect on the memories and friends that I made there.
I hadn’t read an autobiographical novel yet this year, but I’m glad that I chose this one to start with. Conor has an amazing way of retelling the events as they happened, reflecting on his own mistakes, while inserting wry comments about his actions that had me literally had me laughing, if not out loud, then at least grinning in public.
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“I am easily inspired by measurable progress…”
― Conor Grennan,