Writing followed reading as a basic joy in my life and led to a degree in English, teaching, editing, and writing for a newspaper. When I began traveling in the 1990’s, I naturally came home and told my friends and family about my adventures. As technology developed, I was able to email my travel reports, and some readers thought I should write a travel memoir. The result is Lending a Hand, Seeing the World—Memoir of an International Volunteer.
As a volunteer, I had many duties, but some of the most memorable were following meerkats in the Kalahari Desert, collecting data on early gardens and buildings for archaeologists on Easter Island, helping care for underserved babies in Romania, teaching English in Poland, sifting for bones and shells in Portugal and working with severely disabled adults at an institution in Greece. A memoir requires digging into the past, searching for the why of past experiences and so I found myself also examining the limitations imposed on me as a female growing up in the middle of the 20th century and the inhibitions I had to overcome to begin traveling in my fifties.
Judith Schwab is a former reporter for the Roanoke Times in Virginia and a contributor to the Christian Science Monitor. She lives in Cape Canaveral, Florida.