Books Inc. proudly welcomes local author Barbara Coe for an evening discussing her new book Joyful Journey, a memoir about her experiences travelling and working internationally during an era just before widespread use of cell phones and the internet.
Dr. Barbara Coe longed to work overseas to help improve conditions and finally got the chance at age 57. Working and living in Vietnam, Moldova, Armenia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Italy, she never knew what amazing event was next. In this account, laced with wry humor, she takes you along to places less traveled to share the experience.
Poverty and hardship were often mind-boggling: lack of food; crumpled infrastructure; abysmal health services and education. She wondered if she could really help. Yet, the people were warm, cheerful and generous. Her grim living conditions were surpassed by adventures and lively conversations with new friends. Her language and customs gaffes offered comic relief. She went to teach, but experienced profound learning.
Both positive and negative events taught her life lessons. She learned to see how her own thinking sometimes led her astray. She learned how to refocus on her goals and keep advancing when she hit a roadblock. She learned that cultural differences are far surpassed by our shared humanity. Most importantly, she learned that connections with people are the most valuable part of life. For Barbara, this was a Joyful Journey and one for which she is deeply grateful.