Memories of Pith
by Pith Schure
Austin Macauley Publishers

"In short, to do this work, you had to love it, as well as the related adventure."

The creator of this vibrant memoir was born in 1939 in The Netherlands. His early years were marked by the Nazi occupation of his country, with recollections of his fear of German soldiers contrasted with the feeling of safety when American troops arrived in 1944 to liberate them. After attending school, indulging in the usual boy’s pranks, and learning a bit about girls, Schure set out to Wageningen University, where he attained a degree and took advanced studies in rural development. He was fortunate also to get training in the newly developing field of computer technology. With Mieke, his youthful sweetheart and still his wife and partner, he embarked in the early 1960s on an adventure-filled career in overseas rural development, working mostly for the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, concentrating on water supplies and systems. He, Meike, and their children lived and worked in Ghana, Ceylon, Nepal, Pakistan, Sudan, Aruba, Jamaica, and elsewhere.

Schure is a writer with prodigious powers of memory that allow him to focus sharply on both technical and personal situations. He includes footnotes providing factual augmentation to the text and a listing of his more than 40 professional publications. In his work life, Schure rose to supervisory and consultative positions but never shunned physical labor, most recently participating in remodeling impressive old buildings. His story combines global exploration with personal vignettes—colorful glimpses into the countries he visited, wry humor, and sentimental glimpses into the impact on his growing family of moving far and often. Now back home, he and Mieke retain an active role in their community, where their vintage châtelet displays beautiful artifacts from their many treks. Schure’s reminiscences provide a vista of different times and exotic climes more than sufficient to excite the imagination of the armchair traveler.

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