- Paperback: 286 pages
- Publisher: Maverick House; Pod ed. edition (November 1, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1908518227
- ISBN-13: 978-1908518224
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,806,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Boy With A Bamboo Heart Paperback – November 1, 2015
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"Dr Amporn's remarkable story is not aboutchildhood survival or war-time battles, rather a life-long struggle to defeat his demons and transform his fate" Nelson Rand, author and journalist While the very first few chapters of this book will have you on the edge of tears, what unravels is a gripping cycle of misery, hope and inspiration that has you willing for a triumphant ending. It is in all essence a true reflection of human resolve, hope and the simple will to survive. Thailand Life Blog
"Dr Amporn's remarkable story is not about childhood survival or war-time battles, rather a life-long struggle to defeat his demons and transform his fate" Nelson Rand, author and journalist "While the very first few chapters of this book will have you on the edge of tears, what unravels is a gripping cycle of misery, hope and inspiration that has you willing for a triumphant ending. It is in all essence a true reflection of human resolve, hope and the simple will to survive." Thailand Life Blog
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Top Customer Reviews
Somewhere in the book, readers can find a spiritual pathway of a young man who keeps trying his best to navigate his inner-self in seeking of enlightenment, either when being a monk and later a baptized Christian. All we can see is his courageousness, determination to fight against the evils inside himself, to overcome moments of self-loathing in search for love and great deeds. The author also shows her masterful skills in using conversations to deftly answer some spiritual questions we all struggle with.
The story is, by all means, no short of a hero’s journey, the type that Joseph Campell has generalized in The hero’s journey. The beauty of this unique journey lies in the fact that it is a true story of an ordinary person becoming a hero not by superpower but by making difficult choices in many heart-wrenching situations. “The world has much need for everyday heroes, the people who inspire us to reach a little further, a littler higher, or a little longer. The people who set our imagination on fire and make us believe that if we try hard enough, we can make a difference.” Chantal Jauvin, in writing Dr. Amporn's story has given inspiration to not only Thais but to anyone who thinks their obstacles in life are insurmountable.
Chantal has incorporated her sharp mind of an acclaimed international barrister and her quest for exploring other cultures and connecting with people from all walks of life into writing The Boy with a Bamboo Heart, which makes the book a riveting memoir of a no ordinary life.
Until we read about his life in a book written by a someone like Chantal Jauvin who cared enough to know him and who was patient and bold enough to tell his story.
We knew Amporn as one of our students in the Philippines and his nine months as one of some forty-five others in SEARSOLIN institute did not give us a clue of his earlier life as Lek, the Cambodian orphan and eventually a street scavenger and boy-soldier mercenary fighting the French mercenaries of IndoChina before his life changed when he was mentored and supported by Father Bonningue who hired him and then sent him abroad on a scholarship.
As assistant to the institute director Father Masterson. it was our job to plan the curriculum, teach the subjects and micro-manage the course, and while we knew that "great things" were in the offing for our trainees who were sponsored by the Jesuit missionary activities in the southeast Asian countries, beyond that nothing else was actually in our direct view, for while every trainee was required a development plan: their dreams, their visions, their hopes were theirs alone and their sponsors. All that Amporn did in our institute was to study, read and learn English.
Amporn went back to Bangkok, had a short career as credit union organizer and educator, then worked with the Christian Children;s Fund and eventually organized a foundation: the Foundation for the Rehabilitation and Development of Children (FORDEC) which he still heads and for which he received recognition from the King of Thailand and an honorary doctorate from an American university.
But to me, the great revelation of this book about Amporn was the sensitivity with with which author Chantal Jauvin was able to enter into the details of Lek's early orphan life event(s), going into a boy's experience of total orphanhood in a small Buddhist Thai setting, describing the physical separation angst of an orphaned boy from its mother's corpse on the way to the pyre, as " the villager's hands remained outstretched, waiting for me. I wiped my tears with the back of my hand. I could not let my mother go alone. I walked up to the cart, reached for her hand and held it tight. Them men pushed the cart forward."
Fast forward to a scene in the Cagayan St. Augustine Cathedral, where Lek, now named Amporn on account of his becoming a Buddhist monk but had then converted and was baptized a Christian, was in one of the darkened pews praying not only to Mary, declared Mother of God in the Council of Nicea, but also invoking the soul or the ghost of his late mother who died when he was barely five years old.
To me, this prayer scene in a small Philippine city church. more than any other scenes in the many stories told in the book, highllghts how the power of faith as well as the power of ideas can come full circle. How in the life of a Thai boy with a resilient heart. sent by a French Jesuit in Bangkok to read up on a social experiment ideas by a French Canadian Alphonse Desjardins who founded the first credit union in Quebec in an institute setting founded by an Brooklyn priest in the only Christian nation in Asia.
There were also a great many descriptions of either the Thai life and culture, or of Buddhist ways and practices and even the the interior workings of the heart of Lek (Amporn) that makes this book not only a great read but also somewhat a spiritual book but not a book on religion.
“The Boy with a Bamboo Heart” is the suspenseful, inspiring and deeply moving story of Amporn Wathanavongs' ascension from poverty in extremis to become a noted philanthropist and foster dad to thousands of sick and impoverished Thai children through his establishment in 1998 of FORDEC (Foundation for Rehabilitation and Development of Children and Family).
Orphaned at 5, Lek scratched the dirt for food scraps alongside wild dogs in rural Thailand. During his journey he morphed into a blood-thirsty boy soldier in Cambodia, studied to become a Buddhist monk, fed his voracious reading habit, and ironed shirts to realize his dream of securing an education so he could gain entrée into the hierarchical Thai business community.
Armed with heroic inner strength, he overcame unspeakable adversity and crippling self-loathing to achieve success, gain spirituality, and realize his long-held desire to have a family.
You’d be hard pressed to find a more compelling story celebrating the indomitable human spirit.From the onset of this heart-wrenching saga, where an inconsolable little boy clings to his dead mother, “The Boy with a Bamboo Heart” is a well-crafted, fast paced real-life story enlivened by searing imagery and strong dialogue by first-time author Chantal Jauvin, in collaboration with Dr. A. (This is no easy feat. Author Jauvin knocks one out of the park her first time at bat.)
If you're looking for a page-turner for yourself, or to give as a gift, look no further than “The Boy with a Bamboo Heart.”
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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