Written in an easy-to-understand style, Notes from Kenya: A Missionary’s Experience brings the reader into the world of a Singaporean nun who had lived in a foreign land – Kenya.
The chapters are basically pulled from Sr Wendy Ooi’s blog posts and made all the more colourful with photos, including some of her in civilian clothing.
The format allows the book to be quite the modern tome, peppered with YouTube, web links and email addresses. There is even an interactive feel to it as comments from readers are included at the end of each chapter.
The comments are quite candid, as is Sr Wendy’s writing, and they show how wide an appeal she has in the course of writing her blog.
The book is also filled with very Singaporean anecdotes in which she talks about her craving for Singapore food, the small comforts people here take for granted, bringing Singapore culture to Kenya, and her favourite Korean dramas.
Having visited Sr Wendy in Nairobi and also a mission in Lodwar, I had firsthand experience of the poverty and hardship in Kenya.
Nothing beats being there yourself and it will help readers to remember this, as the book will not be able to do full justice to the smells, sounds, heat and tastes of Kenya.
As aptly referred to on the back cover, the book offers a glimpse into the mind of a young woman who gave up a promising career in the local media industry and instead used her skills to make a difference in the media world.
I highly recommend reading this book to gain a rare understanding of what it means to be a missionary Religious in a modern world.
By Benedict Tang
Notes from Kenya costs $18 and is sold at the Church of Christ the King bookshop and selected parishes. The Daughters of St Paul can be contacted at www.paulines.org.sg and www.facebook.com/Paulines.Sg