Simon Fenton is a Brit, who, from a young age, was seized by the urge to travel. After a number of years in Asia, mainly Vietnam, he visited Africa, including Senegal in West Africa, where he met and fell in love with a young Senegalese woman called Khady. Like a good boy, Simon eventually returned home to England, but Africa and Khady were already in his blood. When he discovers Khady is pregnant, he decides to return to Senegal and build a family in this strange and unusual country.
I've read a number of memoirs, but this one resonated with me more than most and I suspect it is because Fenton did something similar to what I did, but he went far more extreme than I did. I thought it was a major wrench to leave my safe life in New Zealand for the teeming metropolis of Manila in the Philippines, but that pales in comparison to Fenton's choice of Senegal over Brighton, England.
The book is basically a tale of his first year in Senegal and details the many trials and tribulations he faced in trying to settle into a new life in a very foreign environment. The story is fascinating, the writing easy and conversational. He brings us his clear love of the country, as well as a healthy cynicism as to many of the cultural practices of deepest, darkest Africa.
I think many readers will ask themselves; WHY? Why would you give up everything the West has to offer, for life where every day is a constant struggle against the heat, insects, corruption, mysticism, and the ever present attitude whenever anything goes wrong; "This is Africa!"? I think Fenton answer those doubts extremely well. It is clear from the story that despite all the problems, the rewards are more than compensation. He clearly loves his home and his family and is now well settled, with a small guest house he has built to host foreign tourists and provide him with someone to speak English with. I can identify with that desire, Simon.
This is a fantastic book for a quick read or to discover something about a region of the world that few of us know too much about. I highly recommend Squirting Milk at Chameleons: An Accidental African by Simon Fenton. Definitely a five-star read in my book.
You can check out this book here: http://amzn.to/1rZoSul
If you want to find out more about Simon Fenton and his Senegalese resort "Little Baobab, or you want to check out his blog, then visit his websites here: