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Big Backpack - Little World [Kindle Edition]

Donna Morang , Cuauhitil Rivera Ramos , Nadia Galindo Aldape
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

In 2000 Donna Morang sold all her earthly possessions and left the United States to teach ESL (English as a second language). Join her as she travels to three continents, and twelve countries.
Step into her classroom and teach English in Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Vietnam, or vacation with her in Spain, Thailand, and Cambodia.
Fall in love with her students learning English, the special street kids, some crazy bartenders, and fellow backpackers. Meet new friends and hear their stories, or laugh with a romantic man or two from around the world.
Venture into the countryside to dance with local people, drink moonshine, explore caves, fish for marlin, catch buckets of squid, or squirm as she eats strange bugs and worms.
Hold her hand as she explores new city streets and countries-- often lost, once robbed, or tremble when guns are pointed at her, as she crosses one more border.
Donna Morang, teacher and traveler has done this and more with a smile and a gusto for life. She definitely knows how to experience life as a true adventurer.
This book is NOT about a woman going in search of herself, or looking for a better life. She already knows that life is beautiful, and she lives it to the fullest

Product Details

  • File Size: 1092 KB
  • Print Length: 212 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007TL2EE8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #402,402 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Read January 1, 2012
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Energetic, fascinating and enjoyable! November 16, 2011
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Big Backpack, Little World November 7, 2011
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The intrepid traveling ESL granny November 4, 2011
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun ride
It was great fun following this intrepid traveler. However, as I thought about doing this myself, I wondered how she got the money to do this. Read more
Published 7 months ago by grannynanny
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a travel guide--but
Thie is not a travel guide but I have to say if I want to go to any of the countries Donna spent time teaching and getting to know the people in I would pick this book up first. Read more
Published 8 months ago by S. Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Go Donna!
The author's spirit brings this book alive. It was so inspiring. Fear is what holds most of us back and this woman has absolutely no fear. It was a refreshing read. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Ellen
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Positively amazing! I felt as if I was on this journey with her. She is an amazing woman with a lot of self confidence. All that she met seemed to enjoy her company and teachings. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Cathy Rider
5.0 out of 5 stars Big backpack - Little World
As I was reading this book I could just feel the way Donna felt when she was going through her experiences. Wonderfully written. Hope she writes more books. Read more
Published 10 months ago by L. Eisley
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Backpack, Big Heart
I enjoyed this memoir very much. The author was inspiring for many reasons. She is a female senior citizen, she traveled alone, and because she was outgoing, loving, and... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Cynthia R
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great adventure
I was hooked from the beginning. How amazing and brave. We all should follow our dreams this way. I loved this book.
Published 11 months ago by Becky Eddlemon
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Inspirational
Thought this was a great journey. I felt like I was right there with Donna as she explored and traveled. Would highly recommend!
Published 16 months ago by Tamara Foy
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun read
Loved reading this book. She is a lot more gutsy than I am but she had some wonderful experiences and lives life to the fullest. Couldn't put the book down until I finished it.
Published 16 months ago by carol eisenhauer
5.0 out of 5 stars Bigger Heart
I am an avid reader and found this book to be one of the best I have read. It inspired me to live a better life, reaching out to people that may be less informed, or just in need... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Bonnie
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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.

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