A Six-Country Tale of Love, Loss, Fatherhood, Fate, and
Singing Bon Jovi in Bethlehem
by Ken Budd
VOL-UN-TOUR-IST n. 1. A guy who attempts to save the world in an attempt to save himself.
2. Someone who can only do it two weeks at a time.
When Ken Budd's father suddenly collapsed in 2007, he was one year into his retirement, seemingly
healthy, and just finishing eighteen holes of golf. Then in a matter of seconds he was gone.
Seeing the legions of family, friends and coworkers paying tribute at his father's funeral, Ken
began to reflect on the achievements of his dad, a man who rose from poverty, who never attended
college yet climbed to upper management in a variety of high-tech companies, and who supported the
financial demands of a household and still made time for his family. Ken began thinking about his
own life, his marriage, the unspoken decision he and his wife had made to remain childless, and he
began to wonder: what would he leave behind? How could he live a life that truly matters? Out of
Ken's effort to find purpose and to confront mortality grew his memoir THE VOLUNTOURIST: A
Six-Country Tale of Love, Loss, Fatherhood, Fate and Singing Bon Jovi in Bethlehem.
Ken's volunteering mission began with an email, subject line: "Katrina Relief Volunteer
Opportunities". Ken signed up. He spent a week in New Orleans, rebuilding homes damaged by
Hurricane Katrina nine months earlier. What soon followed were several global excursions to
countries with communities in need: Costa Rica, to teach English for two hectic weeks at an
elementary school; China, to provide support to faculty at a special-needs school; Ecuador, to
study and document climate change in the remote Andes mountains; Palestine, to participate in a
series of projects in the war-torn West Bank, from building rock walls at olive farms to cleaning
the streets of Bethlehem; and lastly, Kenya, to work in a children's home, nursing and caring for
abandoned infants and young children with HIV.
THE VOLUNTOURIST is a journey that is part insider look at the growing trend of voluntourism, part
do-gooder manifesto, part personal journey. Wry and funny, heartbreakingly honest, as exotic in
location as it is familiar in its concerns, Ken Budd has penned a memoir that will inspire you,
captivate you, and linger in your mind long after you've turned the last page.
|The Voluntourist: A Six-Country Tale of Love, Loss, Fatherhood, Fate, and Singing Bon Jovi in Bethlehem|
Kenn Budd, Author
William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (May 8, 2012)
About the Author:
Ken Budd is an award-winning writer and editor whose writing credits include Smithsonian, Stuff,
the Washington Post, AARP: The Magazine, McSweeney's, Modern Humorist, and, Worldview, the
magazine of the Peace Corps. Ken lives in Burke, Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife.