When Ken Budd was thirty-nine, his father collapsed after eighteen holes of golf. Ken and his wife raced to the hospital--but it was too late. In the weeks that followed, as grieving friends revealed how his father had changed their lives, Ken started questioning his own life--and admitting, after years of denial, that he and his wife would never have children. And then, still struggling with grief--his grief at losing his father, his grief at not being a father--Ken received an e-mail with the subject line: "Katrina Relief Volunteer Opportunities." He signed up. He went to New Orleans. And he kept volunteering: Costa Rica, to teach English; China, to work with special-needs children; Ecuador, to study climate change; the West Bank, to assist refugees; Kenya, to care for orphans. His goal: to find purpose by helping others, one trip at a time. The Voluntourist is a remarkable memoir about losing your father, accepting your fate, and finding your destiny by volunteering around the world for numerous worthy causes: Hurricane Katrina disaster relief in New Orleans, helping special needs children in China, studying climate change in Ecuador, lending a hand--and a heart--at a Palestinian refugee camp in the Middle East, to name but a few. At once a true story of powerful family bonds, of sacrifice, of self-discovery, The Voluntourist is an all-too-human, real-life hero whom you will not soon forget. ---- Ken Budd has written for The Washington Post, Smithsonian, Huffington Post, McSweeney’s,AARP The Magazine, Worldview, and many more publications. After volunteering in New Orleans and Costa Rica, Ken worked in four countries in nine months--China, Ecuador, Palestine, Kenya--for his memoir, The Voluntourist. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from George Mason University, and he is one of the founders of the Robert M. Budd scholarship endowment at Mason. Ken and his wife live in Virginia, outside of Washington, DC. Learn more at www.thevoluntouristbook.com.
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