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Big Backpack - Little World Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Length: 211 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Product Details

  • File Size: 2072 KB
  • Print Length: 211 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: April 11, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007TL2EE8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #500,493 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author


I was born in Montana, and lived eighteen years on a ranch outside Two Dot in Central Montana. Later we moving to Alaska where we mined gold, spending free time fishing or hunting. Looking for a warmer life we moved to Ellensburg, Washington where once again I was a rancher/farmer.

I became a potter and glass artist later in life, and owned a couple of art galleries. I still miss getting my hands in the mud, or cutting a piece of glass to see what the kiln will return.

In 2000 I made a decision to travel and teach English as a second language, and it was the best choice I've ever made. I have a love for foreign countries, and the people I've met have made my life beautiful.

Teaching and traveling for twelve years brought about a desire to share these experiences with friends and family. I became more interested in writing and Big Backpack--Little World was one of the outcomes.

My memoir of Alaska is filled with fishing, hunting, camping, and mining for gold stories. We began our journey to Alaska in 1967, and for several years we spent all our free time hunting, and fishing. Even after the birth of our daughter we ventured in to the Brooks Range to live in a cabin and mine for gold.

These are stories of how Alaskans lived in the 60's and 70's while it was still the Last Great Frontier.

I hope you enjoy your Alaskan adventure.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
One would be hard-pressed to find a travelogue as entertaining, hair-raising, and inspiring as that of intrepid, English-as-a Second-Language teacher Donna Morang's "Big Backpack - Little World."

Donna has explored Mexico, Vietnam, and much of Central America and Southeast Asia - sometimes with a teaching job awaiting her; sometimes hoping to find one after she arrives. She is a one-woman Peace Corps, making friends and improving economic opportunities for people of all ages and economic status.

An admirable ambassador who sees the best in each person she meets, she is as comfortable teaching English on the beach to fishermen for free as she is polishing the language skills of new employees of a Vietnam airline who are about to transfer to Seattle.

Reading this review, you might think that our heroine is a twenty-something adventurer, just out of college, but no: Believe it or not, Donna is a grandmother! I found her story a thoroughly engaging read and was delighted by the illustrations at the beginning of each chapter - even on the Kindle version. I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever dreamed of wandering the world, or who just wants to read about someone who has done so.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ever wonder how there are always some people in the most remote corners of the globe that speak English when the news crews show up for some disaster or uprising? Think Good Morning Vietnam only replace the amorous Robin Williams with an intrepid traveling granny who loves helping people have a chance at a better life by teaching ESL (English as a Second Language). English that helps child street vendors sell to American tourists to be able to survive, that helps local wait staff get better tips from those tourists to support their families, that enables future Vietnamese Airline pilots learn the required language to fly commercial planes to airports worldwide.

The snow was on the ground at her little house in Montana when Donna Morang's daughter sent her information on ESL. She was ready for sunshine, white sand beaches and crystal clear water. First stop, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in November 2000 where she would take a class in teaching ESL. She was the oldest one there, but she not only passed after the required 150 hours of instruction, she discovered that "most cultures honor and respect older people who are considered wise."

However, this is no staid teacher. From Mexico to Central and South America, from Indonesia to Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, Morang seeks out the non-touristy neighborhoods and immerses herself in the authentic culture, bringing some American color with her. There isn't a local dish she won't try, including dog, snake meat and fried insects. She bellies up to the bar for the local beer, her favorite wine, tequila shots or rum--whatever is favored by the clientele with whom she never fails to make friends. She'll join in for karaoke and dance till dawn with young male suitors who find her intoxicating.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Big Backpack - Little World by Donna Morang is a travel memoir that grabs you by the scruff of your neck and gives you a good shake! From start to finish, it's energetic, fascinating and enjoyable. You're swept along with the author, who became an EFL teacher in her fifties at the suggestion of her daughters, from country to country, from good experience to bad experience and back again. You get to see all aspects of life in each place she visits. The author taught in many countries including Mexico, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Colombia. Other countries she applied to work in wouldn't accept her for various reasons, such as the Sudan, where she was considered too old to teach!
The author has an amazing eye for details. She depicts the colours, the smells, the heat or cold of the place. She makes friends with people from all walks of life - pink-haired punks, prostitutes, young people, drug barons, old people. As she says: "It is just not in my nature to distrust people". She takes her companions at face value and wins a lot of respect for this. She also remarks that "once I decide to do something, I usually jump in and give it one hundred percent". She has done this with both her teaching and her writing. I thought I'd lived a fairly interesting life as an expat several times over, but Donna's wide and varied experiences overshadow most people's, I think. This is a book you can't book down. It's well laid out with nice illustrations. It's definitely worth a read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Big Backpack, Little World takes readers on swift, back road adventures through Mexico, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and beyond. This saucy book is not a typical travelogue, but a peek into the author's personal journal. The author writes of highlights and lowlights of international travel, introduces readers to fascinating folks, and shares lessons learned. Peppered throughout her stories are bits of humor and sass that keep the reader entertained. The illustrations are charming and detailed. The only criticisms I have are the occasional grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that distract from the flow of the author's clever and original voice.
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