'So why Morocco?' a friend had asked me. I had shrugged my shoulders in much the same way I had done when previously asked why I had gone to Sudan as a teacher and later to Zimbabwe as an aid worker. 'It chose me rather than the other way round,' I replied, adding that this was pretty much the story of my career to date. In the final part of his autobiographical trilogy with previous books set in North and Southern Africa, Chris McIvor relates the story of his several years in Morocco, his encounter with its history, geography and culture told through the people he met and the places he visited. This book is also an exploration of the rewards, challenges and contradictions of being an aid worker in a foreign country, and how the effort of taking time to listen to local people provides the most valuable lessons in how charity can be better delivered. Later moving to the islands of Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica where as the country director of an international charity the author spent another three years, there is a further interaction with diverse peoples and cultures and an attempt to penetrate behind the gloss of tourism that conceals much of the reality of the Caribbean.
This book chronicles both an internal and external journey, celebrating the need for movement, change and personal interaction as something which exposes us not only to other ways of looking at the world but a means of testing our own cultural assumptions, traditions and beliefs from a more questioning and critical perspective.
Chris McIvor is the author of two previous memoirs, A Bend in the Nile and In the Old Chief's Country. For many years he has worked in Developemnt in Africa, previously as Country Director for Save the Children in Mozambique, now for the same charity in Egypt.