Leopards at My Door

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About the author:

Harriet Denison’s love for volunteering, travel, and exploring exotic places began as a teenager, soon followed by her travels with the Peace Corps as a volunteer. From Antarctica to Madagascar, and New Guinea to Zanzibar, her world adventures have involved serving the local communities and studying, as well as birding, sailing, bicycling, and more.

Denison returns from her travels with astute observations, humorous stories, and exciting adventures to share. Her first book, Travels with Turtle, was published in 2003. Her writings have been published in numerous publications and on her web site.

As part of her philanthropic activities, Denison volunteered in the early formation of the Women’s Funding Movement, which focused on women’s leadership and causes. She founded the Women’s Foundation of Oregon in 1989, which supported women’s groups until 1996. Denison also served on the board of the National Network of Women’s Funds, renamed Women’s Funding Network (WFN) during Denison’s tenure. For two years, she served as board chair of WFN and retired from that board in 1999.

During those ten years of national philanthropy, Denison learned hard-earned lessons about organizing for change and leading a diverse population toward a common goal. Denison’s work with women’s funds informed her local philanthropy as well.

Under her guidance for twenty years, the Oregon portion of The Ralph L. Smith Foundation in Oregon (RLS) evolved to promote equity, justice and sustainability. This was accomplished by supporting organizations that addressed the root causes of social, economic, and environmental problems.

In addition to her writing projects, Denison hikes, paddles dragon boats along Portland’s Willamette River, and engages in serious bird watching internationally. She also sings in the Threshold Choir, a small group of singers 
who visit the bedsides of ill and dying individuals to bring them ease and comfort at the thresholds of living and dying.
 Dennison is presently writing on her next book on birding and international travels, which will be published in Spring 2015. To learn more about Denison's travels and work, visit her web site:www.travelswithharriet.org

Leopards at My Door

Peace Corps, Tanzania, 1966-1967

Authored by Harriet Hayes Denison
Edition: 1

Harriet Denison joined the Peace Corps in 1966 and spent two years in Tanzania teaching at Bwiru Girls' Secondary School. At the time, Tanzania was a new nation full of optimism and challenges, much like Denison.

Mixing details of her daily activities with her adventures, Leopards at My Door gives readers a sense of the life of a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa in the 1960s.

Situated on Lake Victoria near the Serengeti, Bwiru Girls' School had regular visits from leopards as well as an array of other wildlife. One of the highlights for Denison during her time in Africa was her stint as an instructor with the Outward Bound Mountain School and subsequent climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

After two years as a Peace Corps volunteer, Denison traveled for several weeks before returning to the United States. In her chapter "A Lesson from the Poorest of the Poor," Denison describes volunteering in India for a few weeks, specifically working with people who suffered with leprosy. At the time, the Catholic nun Denison worked with was little known beyond Calcutta. Years later, that same nun, Mother Teresa, would be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for her work among India's poorest.

In Denison's final chapter, she reflects on her Peace Corps experience and how it affected the remainder of her life. She went on to serve on nonprofit boards, serve various communities, and of course, travel internationally.

Publication Date:
1935925423 / 9781935925422
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs

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