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Travel Memoir Offers Deep Dive Into West Africa

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A New Day Dawns

By Terry Lister

Publisher: Brooklyn Knight Enterprises, 2021

Via: Author Request

Genre: Memoir/Travel

“This is Africa!”

Terry Lister is an experienced world traveler. He’s also a first class storyteller with a knack for drawing readers into his adventures. As in his first volume, Immersed in West Africa, Lister invites you to join him in traveling through four West African countries as he seeks to “learn what makes people tick.”

The theme of Lister’s second trip to West Africa is:

“Over-sell, under-deliver.”

He experiences same during extended stays and tours of four West African countries you don’t usually hear much about: Sierra Leona, Liberia, the Ivory Coast, and Ghana. During his travels, the authors goes beyond the “mile-wide, quarter-inch deep” bird’s eye view of most travel tomes.

A Deep Dive

His is a deep dive into local culture and customs, wildlife, architecture, history, transportation challenges and decent lodging. Additional observations are tucked into an engaging travelogue about each country, told in the first person. Like visiting a beach at sunset and a chimpanzee sanctuary near Freetown, Sierra Leone. Also the tragic results of deforestation and Sierra Leone’s illegal diamond trade.

Liberia

Moving on to Liberia, Lister chronicles the effects of civil war and Ebola. Did you know that although Liberia is one of the poorest countries in Africa, it is also the world’s largest exporter of cocoa? And beware Chinese influence-peddling and government corruption!

Ivory Coast

A former French colony, the Ivory Coast is “one of the most attractive countries in Africa for investment and development.” Tip: San Pedro. The IC is also home to the tallest church in the world. There’s an interesting back story here, too. And hello cashew lovers! IC is the largest producer of cashew nuts in the world. Another tidbit you probably won’t find in most travel guides.

Ghana

Ever heard of the Ashanti Kingdom, Kumasi, or Accra? You’ll find all of them in Ghana. And a lot more as the author visits Ghanaian open air markets, shrines, cloth making operations, historic sites, villages, a lighthouse, waterfalls, and a sacred lake. He also describes the influence of British, Danes, and other Europeans.

Strengthened

“My faith was strengthened by my experiences” writes Lister at the end of his second journey in West Africa. Instead of seeing people defeated or “beaten down” as one might expect in Sierra Leone or Libera, Lister reports that he saw people “determined to make the best” of their situation. This includes making the most of job opportunities and education. He also notes the need for “infrastructure development” and the benefits good roads would bring to economic development and tourism in these countries.

Generously illustrated with colorful photos and maps and laced with gentle humor, A New Day Dawns is a finely tuned, expertly paced and enjoyable read. If you’re looking for a “travelogue” that goes beyond mileage and suggested destinations, this is it.

This is book 2 of Travels With Terry. To read our review of Terry’s first book, Immersed in West Africa, click here.

To learn more about Terry Lister and his travels, click here.

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