What's On My Shelf and My Tablet?
Far-away Cows: Veterinary Vignettes from the Third World
Originally, I purchased this book because it was written by a colleague of my father’s, Patrick Guilbride, with whom Dad worked in Uganda in 1962. When I scheduled my first-ever trip back to Uganda this year, I found the book on my shelf and immersed myself in his descriptions of every day life in Uganda and other places. It was written from the viewpoint of a British expat (don’t expect uniformly culturally appropriate sentiment or opinions) but gives a peek into the British-dominated culture(s) that existed at the time.
Here’s a taste from the book jacket:
“‘I was determined to hate Africa’. So begins this captivating account of 38 years as a veterinary surgeon in a patchwork of far flung colonies and emerging Third World states. From the central African bush to the coral fringed isles of the Caribbean, the high sierra of the Andes to the steamy jungle of the Amazon, and from the right wing junta of South America to the Marxists of Mozambique… it covers the author’s personal and professional evolution, his disappointments and successes… through six countries with widely differing levels of livestock production and social mores, where best laid schemes were often throttle by politics and bureaucracy run amock… Invigorated and goaded by a lively wife and eight rampaging children - nine if you count the family’s outrageous but entertaining vervet monkey - life was rarely predictable, sometimes precarious, but never boring…”
Guilbride’s book is a snapshot of an era that passed away (and should have) over sixty years ago. And I’ll attest to the “rampaging children” part. His oldest, Shannon, and I were friends in school and my three-year old brother and his son Cary marched off into the jungle carrying small elephant tusks, worrying the mothers to death. When we visited them in Peru in 1969 on our way to live in Chile, staying with the Guilbrides was never dull.
Some copies of this 3.5” hard cover book still exist. Amazon has a few.