cultural involvement that Don experienced when he volunteered in
Brazil to teach English (as outlined in his first book
“Volunteering in Brazil”), further fuelled his interest in
helping communities with critical social needs.
In `Volunteering in Tanzania`, Don used his skills as a
writer and photographer to record and report on educational
establishments, primary schools as well as charitable
institutions such as orphanages for `Art in Tanzania`. A
non-governmental organisation (NGO), `Art in Tanzania` welcomes
volunteers and interns to participate in community led projects,
particularly in the growing need for education of the poor.
Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in Africa yet Don
witnessed and recorded the significant steps that the government
is taking to bring education to the poorest. International
volunteers provide much needed help in teaching English in the
schools, in particular, instructing young adults in the
prevention of HIV/AIDS. They also cared for the elderly and
young children in various charitable institutions and
orphanages. Don`s photo-journalistic reports were published in
the organisations online magazine aimed at the younger
The book is vividly illustrated with colour photographs,
including those from his weekend in the historic island of
Zanzibar, infamous for its involvement in the slave trade.
Don seems to have a knack of getting
involved with the culture of a country as you may have read in
`Volunteering in Brazil` and `Volunteering in
Tanzania`. His quest for travel and photographic
opportunities was not the main reason for going to The Gambia in
March 2011. It was to escape from the freezing weather in
England when everything froze in extremes of temperature.
Chesham, his home town, was at one time the coldest place in the
It did not take Don long to get involved in
the local culture of this ex British colony that gained
independence in 1965. He met a local `bumpster`, a non-official
guide who preys on unsuspecting tourists. Bumpsters are well versed in the country`s
historic past and Gambia`s infamous culture. For 6 days Don was shown
around the country and introduced to many aspects of its
culture, including a Gambian funeral, when his guide`s father
died. The only payment his guide required was for a sack of rice
for his babies – for the whole week.
Another highlight of Don`s tour was a visit
to the island of Alfreda, also known as `Roots`, to visit the
home of the ancestor of Alex Haley who traced his heritage and
history to this slave island.
Some of this history was
book and TV series `Roots`
which was set in the Gambia, when the main character was known
as `Chicken George`. As with Don`s previous books `An
Adventure in Gambia` is vividly illustrated with colour
photographs which shows not only the culture of `The Gambia`
but also the extreme poverty of this developing country.