[Reading] ➶ Beyond the Last Village: A Journey of Discovery in Asia's Forbidden Wilderness By Alan Rabinowitz – Motyourdrive.co.uk

Beyond the Last Village: A Journey of Discovery in Asia's Forbidden Wilderness summary Beyond the Last Village: A Journey of Discovery in Asia's Forbidden Wilderness, series Beyond the Last Village: A Journey of Discovery in Asia's Forbidden Wilderness, book Beyond the Last Village: A Journey of Discovery in Asia's Forbidden Wilderness, pdf Beyond the Last Village: A Journey of Discovery in Asia's Forbidden Wilderness, Beyond the Last Village: A Journey of Discovery in Asia's Forbidden Wilderness 6d3d356a59 In , Alan Rabinowitz, Called The Indiana Jones Of Wildlife Science By The New York Times, Arrived For The First Time In The Country Of Myanmar, Known Until As Burma, Uncertain Of What To Expect Working Under The Auspices Of The Wildlife Conservation Society, His Goal Was To Establish A Wildlife Research And Conservation Programme And To Survey The Country S Wildlife He Succeeded Beyond All Expectations, Not Only Discovering A Species Of Primitive Deer Completely New To Science But Also Playing A Vital Role In The Creation Of Hkakabo Razi National Park, Now One Of Southeast Asia S Largest Protected Areas


10 thoughts on “Beyond the Last Village: A Journey of Discovery in Asia's Forbidden Wilderness

  1. says:

    This was another great book to read by Dr Alan Rabinowitz In this book, Alan is in Myanmar doing research on the animals that are living in the region of the Hkakabo Razi National Park Most of the story takes place with Alan and a team of animal and plant biologist, on a tracking expedition towards the Himalayan Mountains While on the trip, the team meets some villagers that makes a lasting effect on Alan There is a personal story than in Alan s previous book Chasing the Dragon s tail In this book, Alan has married and struggling with what is best for his life as a married man His wife is wanting to start a family but, Alan, isn t sure if he wants to have kids because of his traumatic childhood that he had But during his journey, he meets two villagers named Dawi and Htawgyi, that helps Alan decide what he really wants in his life.


  2. says:

    An interesting, but also a frustrating book in a number of ways The context and description of visits to northern Myanmar and to a lesser extent to other parts of the country is fascinating and rare external view of the country from a perspective that is not focused on political aspects Similarly the points where it touches on the complexities of engaging with the authorities in Myanmar are fascinating for the same reasons However, this leads to one of the frustrations I had that some of those interesting elements are rather underplayed I also felt that a serious criticism is the author s tendency to centre his own views and narratives Yes, this is a very personal account, but at the same time what must have been a considerable amount of work intellectual, administrative, and logistical, by locals both Rabinowitz s own colleagues and others is barely acknowledged A similarly dismissive or uncaring attitude towards the locals sometimes seems apparent in the author s descriptions of his interactions with them For instance, he recounts that none of the military escort that the expedition were required to take liked the task of having to stick to him through a day s trek because he walked faster than they wished to Over the following chapters it becomes clear that rather than make any attempt to accommodate the others or discuss the matter he simply did what he wished to and at times either deliberately or simply unthinkingly went out of his way to make the escort s life difficult by forcing the pace At times this attitude seems to slip into an almost colonial belief in western intellectual supremacy and, indeed, whose observations count For example, the author writes Sadly, alchemy never evolved into modern Chemistry in Myanmar as it did in Europe Instead, chemistry was brought from the West with the British conquest, while alchemy lived on as a superstitious practice among a small group of monks within Myanmar Similarly he refers to being the first people to observe certain animals or things in Myanmar while describing how local hunters brought these animals to him and shared their knowledge of the wildlife He also seems surprised that local authorities and researchers were upset that he took it on himself to name a new species without any sort of consultation or discussion simply assuming that he had the right In the descriptions of the various peoples living in northern Myanmar, a degree of generalisation is probably inevitable, but at times the narrative to me slides into stereotyping Again, the colonial overtones are problematic in such ethnographic descriptions This is, as noted above, a very personal account Unfortunately for me that personal dimension was one of the least successful aspects of the book I found the attempt to merge the sections about the author s own life and history with the account of trips to Myanmar jarring The attempt did not make me care about his own inner journey or life and I did not find that these insertions enriched the descriptions of the environment and peoples of Myanmar who do not need the validation of comparison or contributing to an outsiders inner journey to be of interest Overall my abiding reaction to these sections was annoyance and pity for his wife, whose views, voice, concerns, and desires he seemed to consider uninteresting at best and certainly irrelevant when it came to his own actions and behaviour There were certainly points when I found myself thinking that if I were a friend of his wife s I would have advised her to leave the marriage and I certainly had little patience for detailed descriptions of imaginary maunderings about whether she might choose to leave him Having said all that, there was enough of interest in this book to keep me reading, despite the frustrations It strikes a reasonable balance in terms of presenting enough scientific information to be interesting without that becoming overwhelming or confusing.


  3. says:

    Having read Alan s book, Jaguar One Man s Struggle to Establish the First Jaguar Preserve, which is one of my favorites, and hearing of his death I picked this one to read in is honor Another amazing story One person can make a difference he created three national parks in Burma I like the way he interweaves the inner journey with the outer one A true hero that the world will miss


  4. says:

    My first introduction to this author A great read of personal adventure and wildlife conservation.


  5. says:

    I found this in a local bookshop I travelled to Kachin, the northernmost state of Myanmar, in 2010 and it was one of the best trips I ve ever made I still like to think back to staying in the village at Indawgyi lake, where it had been weeks since the last tourist visited, and the state capital Myitkyina, where one and two storey buildings still dominate and part of the booming city really looks like a forest with a few buildings in between I was aware of the option of going to Putao with infrequent flights that are of course quite expensive Alan Rabinowitz travelled way further north than that, to areas that are probably still off limits to most foreigners Going up to Hkakabo Razi took his expidition several weeks walking, with a team of scientists from Yangon, soldiers, and dozens of carriers Rabinowitz s main mission is researching wildlife and preparing plans for its protection, but he is curious to learn about anything he sees along the way, especially people he meets in the villages And in fact, the culture and way of life of these people is central to wildlife protection One crucial thing he found out is that they hunt significantly wildlife than they need for their own supply of meat, skins etc Wildlife products sold to merchants from China has been the only way for them to get household supplies that they can t produce themselves and especially salt, which is central to their survival but not available in the mountains Rabinowitz does not follow a romantic notion that all wildlife protection has to start with the development of local tribes and thus put people first , but he involves them and respects their needs Interestingly, he also tries to appeal to their faith by asking Christian pastors for alternative ideas on how to look at wildlife in relation to humans Another thing I appreciate is that the author does not present himself as hero He shares his journey, his passion, his planning but also his weaknesses, his sorrows, his stubborn fast pace that was not good for his knee or other team members It was also great to see how partnerships and friendships with villagers, scientists and officials, despite the occasional clash of cultural values The real journey in Myanmar began with establishing contacts with the government, getting permits to travel and do research, finding reasons to go further north, gather data to support plans for protected areas, training staff I found the interaction with the different government actors very interesting.


  6. says:

    While quite similar in many respects to The Snow Leopard by Peter Mathiessen, this book only touches on the religions of this region and focuses instead on wildlife policy, management and field work Both use the physical journey as a metaphor and an avenue for examining internal and personal exploration Alan Rabinowitz s personal story is quite amazing and while his childhood speech problems hang over the entire story, we only get one or two real insights into that part of his life This book is a great adventure novel with plenty of the usual hardships While his speech and his relationship to his wife add secondary story lines to the main plot of working to protect wildlife in Myanmar, these three tend to compete for the spotlight rather than complement each other The sheer fact that words are devoted to it tells us that the wildlife work is indeed the main story This is also a good motivational work that should inspire you to set and achieve even the loftiest of goals The fact that he has been diagnosed with cancer since this publication adds to the reader s view of him as a fighter I probably would have given the book four stars if I had never read The Snow Leopard While very competent, Rabinowitz is a wildlife scientist first and a writer second If you re interested in conservation and the process of proposing and developing wildlife management areas this book will certainly be of interest It s a fairly quick and easy read.


  7. says:

    I appreciate Rabinowitz s connecting his outer journey, laying groundwork for a national park in Myanamar, to his inner journey of accepting and loving his stuttering youthful self And, both are important I admire how he worked with the government and local culture to meet the roadless mountains, valleys and river and then how the places spoke to him I realized now what the hunters meant when they talked of the love they felt after having touched the trees and walked in the snows of the icy mountains I knew why they tried to hold on to those feelings, and why they kept the smell in their clothes as long as they could I did the same.


  8. says:

    It was an interesting opinion of Burma and Burmese culture for a different perspective than the political The author wrote well enough but gave way to much of his own opinions on things that had nothing to do with the topic that he is writing about and educated in It was mostly about the authors trips to Burma in order to protect certain lands that have diverse plant and animal wildlife and the problems he encountered while doing so It gave insight in to the Burmese land landscape as well as the people there.


  9. says:

    This book records the efforts to identify and save endangered animals in Myanmar No westerners had been admitted for 30 years and he was able to get in, and eventually set up an animal preserve it was so exciting to be there when then discovered animals that they thought were extinct and find animals where they weren t expected to be Very eye opening without too heavy handed on the conservation theme.


  10. says:

    Absolutely cranked right through this book and wanted Rabinowitz s unfrilled writing style lets the events shine without the need for embellishment This book had a even split between descriptions of wildlife, indigenous people, and the author s personal life, but was all enjoyable Highly recommended.


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