Review: Tsunami and the Single Girl by Krissy Nicholson

Title: Tsunami and the Single Girl

Author: Krissy Nicholson

Published: Allen and Unwin September 2013

Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from September 19 to 20, 2013 {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

Tsunami and the Single Girl is an account of the six years Krissy Nicholson spent in humanitarian disaster zones around the world, working hard and playing hard, all the while keeping an eye out for Mr Right.

After twenty nine year old Krissy Nicholson’s first overseas assignment as a Human Resources Manager with Oxfam in Bangladesh she knew she had found her dream job. Returning to Melbourne after an additional six months in Pakistan, she found she was bored with the daily office routine and so when she was asked to assist in Sri Lanka in the wake of the 2003 Boxing Day Tsunami, she jumped at the opportunity.

Despite the often difficult, and sometimes dangerous, conditions of her work in emergency relief Krissy thrives in her new role. She grows more confident in her skills as she witnesses the difference Oxfam makes in the poorer communities of Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and Uganda. I couldn’t help but admire her spirit of adventure and willingness to embrace the local cultures.

Most of Oxfam’s projects are about supplying basic needs to devastated communities – primarily water, sanitation and agriculture. Though Krissy’s role is largely administrative, managing staff and programs she has the opportunity to visit the various projects and interact with the communities in need.

Despite the stories of overwhelming loss in Sri Lanka, starving children in Africa, honour killings in Asia and the brutality of Kony’s regime, the dignity and resilience of those who have suffered is inspiring and humbling. I couldn’t help but feel guilty though, our first world concerns are so frivolous in comparison and I was interested to learn how Krissy dealt with the emotional challenges of her work.

The stress of working in emergency relief, including the long hours and prolonged absences from family does eventually take an its toll however. During a difficult year which culminated in back surgery, Krissy decides to gain additional education in public health to allow her to work more directly with those in need.

Despite her fulfilling career, Krissy longs for a husband and children. Tsunami and the Single Girl is also the story of her search for Mr Right. With checklist in hand and a gypsy’s prediction that she will marry a doctor Krissy variously dates a Pakistani folk singer, an Aussie police officer and an American Navy officer. Though I probably would have preferred less focus on her love life, I did think the personal focus counteracted the sterotypical perception of aid worker’s as selfless martyrs.

Told with heart, humour and honesty Tsunami and the Single Girl is a very readable memoir and could be a valuable resource for women interested in working in the international aid field.

Available to Purchase From

Allen and Unwin I BoomerangBooks I Booktopia I Amazon Kindle

via Booko


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Teddyree
    Sep 23, 2013 @ 23:14:10

    I like the sound of this one, always wanted to take my nursing career into the international aid field but funnily enough having a family became my focus 🙂



  2. The Australian Bookshelf
    Sep 24, 2013 @ 18:02:28

    I really enjoyed this one too 🙂



  3. Trackback: Histories, Biographies, Memoirs – Roundup #9 2013 | Australian Women Writers Challenge
  4. Trackback: Histories, Biographies, Memoirs – Roundup #9 2013 | Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog

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