If one were to list their achievements, being the first Caucasian teacher in a Zulu school would be tough to beat. Karen Baldwin’s biographical, ‘Ruby’s World’, details this achievement. After surviving health scares & being an empty nester, she accepts an unpaid assignment to assist children with speaking English.
Written in journal format, we follow her journey. Struggles at customs, unknown languages, & climate changes greet her in Africa. Ruby, of the book’s title, plays hostess to Karen as she stays in Ruby’s home. Zinti Primary School, where she teaches, overflows with loving children. Third grade her is in stark contrast to Karen’s life in California. As she becomes more immersed in Zulu culture, it becomes more obvious that things aren’t as rosy as they appear. Ruby’s World is a complicated place, but one you’ll never forget.
Vivid descriptions of the Congo Basin & Sahara were lovely insights. Karen’s honesty about her trials & errors are what make the book so enjoyable. Her humor about the overabundance of crocodiles near a hotel & the influx of monkeys were hysterical. Yet, she maintains deep emotions as she details her feelings toward gruesome customs & the children’s’ self-esteem. It was as if you could see tear drops on each page. I believe it is a crucial read for those contemplating oversees volunteer work.
Having embarked alone on her humanitarian trip, she survived with very little assistance from anyone other than the few villagers she met. Quite an admirable act of bravery, really. Travelers would be well advised to put to use a great number of facts included here. Perhaps she’d have done a few things differently, but her story is great in print.
Kudos to her for having a heart for others & a 5 of 5 stars for ‘Ruby’s World’!
Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Rubys-World-Karen-Baldwin/dp/1937002101
Some other info:
The author and global volunteer Karen Baldwin recently was appointed the Ambassador for the Rural Women’s Movement of South Africa working to obtain basic human rights for the women and children of South Africa. She’ll be speaking to the United Nations Commission hearings on the Status of Women with Sizani Ngubane, the executive director and founder of RWM early next year. Karen was recently interviewed by NBC affiliate, KOB in Albuquerque, NM. Airing September 18 - Link:
Before NM, Karen was in San Francisco on a book tour and was on the CBS Affiliate Bay Sunday: http://youtu.be/nQI3bflfaNY
I received one eBook copy to write my review & no further compensation. I was under no obligation to write a positive review.