Jamie Bowman ’80 just published her first book, Bike Riding in Kabul: The Global Adventures of a Foreign Aid Practitioner. Getting roughed up by Islamic fundamentalists, the weekly “feline sex-fest” in Kyiv, bribing Russian police to avoid jail in Moscow, sheltering under the sink (with the lizards) when the ammo dump exploded in Juba, automatic weapons training in Indiana, and that ill-fated morning bike ride in Kabul. It was a great job!
Bike Riding in Kabul follows the professional and personal adventures ofinternational legal consultant Jamie Bowman, an attorney from California, as she endeavors to update the laws of Kosovo, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Moscow, Afghanistan, Southern Sudan, Rwanda, and Afghanistan.
As seen through Ms. Bowman’s good humor and unique perspective, Bike Riding in Kabul moves with effortless charm through a fascinating array of personalities and events. It is full of exotic locations, difficult work challenges, strong female role models, and quirky characters, and explores a wide range of themes, including the important role of reform, Islamic attitudes toward a Western woman, endemic corruption, post-Cold War sentiments, and how other countries view the United States. Throughout the book, Jamie is supported by an Argentine boyfriend who helps her make sense of the crazy situations she finds herself in.
Fast-paced, funny, occasionally heartbreaking, but always wholly original, Bike Riding in Kabul captures the challenges of an American working overseas and is a story of finding the strength necessary to do the right thing, even when the consequences may be personally damaging.