People fascinate me. Perhaps that is why I love working as a GP. When I travel, I always want to ask questions and know what life is really like for everyone I meet. Sadly, I am not much of a linguist but I smile and gesticulate a great deal and make the effort to communicate. Given enough time, it is remarkable how connections can be made
I explore, try to understand and write about difficult issues including corruption, prejudice, exploitation, caste and poverty. I know that for some this makes uncomfortable reading and even risks demystifying and undermining the image some travellers have of the simple natural existence of the rural poor in emerging nations. Nevertheless I fervently believe these issues should be understood by all who travel so my aim is to present the facts as sympathetic engaging stories about real people. I am frustrated by the look-and-point approach to travel, but I hope I don't preach. I write of my adventures and enthusiasms and of colour and beauty so that my readers can enjoy my travel experiences as much as I do.
Travel Health Guides
Within minutes of arriving in the sleepy town of Khairpur in Sindh, I was faced with a medical crisis. I'd been qualified as a doctor for a few years but was new to expatriate life, and I was travelling with my firstborn, three-month-old son. A guy who was expecting to work with my husband announced that he needed to be evacuated because he was desperately ill. I introduced myself as a GP and offered help. Quickly I realised that my new friend was not suffering from some horrendous tropical pox but that he just had a nasty attack of sinusitis. It made him feel awful with frontal headache that recalled having a screwdriver rammed into his eyeball. Labelling it with a diagnosis made it less scary, though, and we found that the correct antibiotics were readily available over the counter in the local bazaar. By the next day my patient was well on the way to recovery.
That was the first time I really had to think about travel health. What this, my first real travel medicine ‘case’, made me realise is that even the calmest and most sensible of travellers will nearly always become disproportionately worried about themselves when taken ill. In my friend’s case, he didn’t know much about the local health service and didn’t know where he could find a doctor he could trust. He just wanted to get home to his friendly British GP. That experience showed me how liberating and empowering information can be and motivated me to start writing accessible straightforward travel health advice. I began work on a manual that was distributed amongst expatriate engineers, and soon after wrote my first travel health feature for Wanderlust magazine. It was - of course - on diarrhoea.
A Glimpse of Eternal Snows
A rainy couple of days gave me the ideal opportunity to curl up and read your book. It is a riveting and deeply emotional tale and I am full of admiration for you on many levels. It is an overwhelming tale of grief; denial, anger fiercely directed against the clever doctors, guilt and I hope ultimately resolution, because here is a book of triumph of David's short life. I clearly remember coming to visit you on the first trip back to England with David. Alexander was out with friends and I played on the floor with David and remember his smile and infectious laugh. You told me of your trek and how the children had joined you, carried by the guides and how David had thrived in Nepal. So I remember him. David was loved and cherished, accepted and stimulated and he has enriched the lives of others and will continue to do so through your book.
Dr Veronica Spooner, GP
You are poetic in your description of the countryside and wildlife. It is obviously your passion and your spiritual solace. I had a strong feeling of what it was like to live and work in Rajapur. Reading the book, I travelled into a world of my own and I have also spent the last two days reminiscing about PNG. You are very honest about the challenges you faced and I admire your strength of character and determination. The country and cultures are totally different but we have shared some of the experiences of being a third world expatriate. I lived in a town of about 25,000 people. I have never come to terms with the violence or my total sense of failure as a doctor.
It is such a powerful story. You can expect people to have strong reactions to it because it does challenge the reader to think about disability and illness, life and death. It challenges us to think about the third world and what is important in our lives. It will challenge some religious views. That will be uncomfortable for some people.
I am delighted to hear that it is selling well in Australia (despite calling jandles flip-flops) and I am sure it will do well when it goes global. Good book club material.
Lemurs of the Lost World
“an absorbing account of a unique place.”
The Geographical Journal
How to Shit Around the World
Dr. Wilson-Howarth, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, has a finely tuned sense of humor and, courtesy of our Victorian ancestors, our language is thick with euphemisms for this most basic of deeds.
Rebecca Brown (Clallam Bay, WA, US) posted on amazon.com
Don't dismiss her timely and important information just because she's funny, she has a lot to teach us. You will learn how to:
-- avoid minor & major intestinal disruptions & diseases, as well as symptoms & cures.
-- eat, drink & be safe in a foreign place.
-- tame your bodily functions on those long rides.
-- travel with children & keep them well.
-- make environmentally & hygienically sound deposits
-- cope without toilet paper.
-- identify the critters who thrive in dark & moist areas.
Then set about discovering the amazing variety of foreign toilets...and so much more!
A seriously informative and amusing book with a host of helpful hints from well-traveled world trekkers.
Your Child Abroad: a travel health guide
“Parents considering taking children to developing countries would be wise to obtain a copy of this manual as it not only offers practical advice for disease prevention and treatment based on personal experiences but also gives inspiration to parents who may have doubts about travelling with offspring abroad. Travel health advisors will also find this book a useful addition to their library of travel health literature.”
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene