Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle Reading App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Frequently Bought Together
The author is a History and Mathematics teacher from the UK. He started writing with his personal account of teaching in Africa. He has since continued to self publish other works. In addition to his memoir of Zambia, he has written a travel memoir of his expedition to Guyana, and a set of revision guides for high school mathematics in Ontario. Mark has also written a semi-fictionalised account of his grandfather's experiences in World War Two, and aims one day to write a full fiction work.
The author candidly pours his heart out to the reader from the turbulence faced in fast paced London to the everyday struggles of being a teacher/development worker in Africa (Zambia). The description of characters (some more shady than others) is amazing, while his real life depiction of his daily struggles are at times sad (ever-growing struggles of HIV/AIDS and corruption), but gripping. While reading the book, occasionally I felt the author's pain in some of the sad but true problems he faced at his school. Having been a development worker in Tanzania, yet traveled to Zambia I understand the author's struggles and triumphs - most of which I can relate to, thus it's fitting for anyone who has worked or volunteered in Sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, the internal struggles the author wrestles with are sincere, distressing, and endearing; which makes the book that much more humbling to read. For anyone who enjoys reading about people's adventures, Africa, and life's daily challenges... this is a must read.
Was this review helpful to you?
Mark Burke entered the Volunteer Service Organization (England's version of the US Peace Corps) after a tumultuous breakup with a girlfriend left him feeling skeptical and depressed. "Glimmers of Hope: Memoir of a Volunteer in Zambia" is about Mark's experiences in Zambia from October 2004 through December 2006.
Mark starts off with the training he received with the VSO before he went to his assigned school to teach. Mark states he received about 3 days of training whereas his counterparts received about a week. He laments in his memoir that he wished he had learned the local language. He feels he would have better understood the people of Zambia. In contrast, US Peace Corps Volunteers receive three months of language and cultural training before reporting to their assignments.
Mark's memoir is a excellent account of his time in Zambia including his frustrations with the culture of corruption and hypocrisy. He details teaching in Zambia, his interactions with the Zambian teachers and other Zambians, the harrowing trips into town for supplies, the encounters with large snakes, along with the experience of being in an African country during an election. Mark does tend to be pessimistic about life in general in his book, but a lot of volunteers do end their service with this attitude.
I really enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it for people who are considering any type of volunteer or missionary work in Africa. Reading this book will give the reader a realistic idea of just what their service in Africa may be like.
My only criticism of this book is the lack of formatting. Mark has self published this book so there are formatting issues. Some of these have been addressed in the second edition, however.
Was this review helpful to you?