Mary Venner gave up a secure job to travel to the other side of the world to work in foreign aid. Her work took her to places that are now daily headline news, including Ukraine, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Somalia.
Mary arrived in Kosovo in the aftermath of the Balkan Wars and found a new career providing advice to politicians and government officials on how to manage their country’s finances. With a wry sense of humour, she describes the strange working conditions, the daily security challenges, and the lively social life of expats living in cities that tourists avoid.
This book provides a first-hand account of the devastation caused by war, the hardships created by government corruption and incompetence, and the problems that need to be solved to make life better in these places. It also provides insights into the lives of the locals who live with the consequences after the foreigners have moved on.
Available from online booksellers and in selected bookstores.
All proceeds from this publication will be donated to charities working to improve life for people affected by conflict and poverty.
Read a sample chapter
You can read the first chapter here.
What people are saying about it.
‘…an important read for anyone hoping to work in development consulting or better understand it.’—Gordon Peake, DevPolicyBlog
“A great read and a timely insight into how aid programs are run. The book is part travelogue, part local history of some of the world’s trouble spots and finally how one person manage to survived in those places and still achieve a level of success. It should be a must read to all who contemplate a similar career or for the politicians who consider funding such programs.” (Amazon reader review)
“… a very readable account of how Mary Venner learns to not only survive but to function effectively in a bizarre range of challenging circumstances.” Nicky Page – Radio Adelaide
“described beautifully along with short bursts of history. Very readable and enjoyable.” (JM)
“very well written so it makes an easy and entertaining read” (LH)
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