Pink Boots and a Machete
I was not disappointed. From the moment it started, I was hooked.
Mireya Mayor is a fiery Cuban who was raised to be a little girl, but secretly housed a love for the outdoors and animals. She ended up becoming an NFL cheerleader and was still able to find her true calling as a Primatologist.
I loved all the wonderful stories this book contained. I was gagging and grossed out by the worms under her skin, the swollen hands from blood poising and the leeches she picked out of people's eyes. I laughed and cheered when she encountered new animals and finally found the elusive smallest lemur on the planet, but failed to document it - the first time and had to go back. She doesn't hold anything to wonder. She tells all the gross, knitty gritty details. I waited patiently through this entire book to know how she met her husband. She also has a wonderful addition of photos clutched in the middle of the book that pulled me in even farther that I visited her website and on National Geographic. It is wonderful to read the book and then related the videos to some of the stories she details in it.
I really enjoyed that this book was a mixture of her journal and the story. It really helped develop the places she traveled to and the feeling of being there in the middle of the jungle, in a tent with nothing but a few survival items.
This book was seriously one of the best books I have read this year. (and yes, there have been a few already) BUT how wonderful is it that I have been so lucky?
Mireya Mayor is the type of woman who makes the feminist in me cheer wildly for women breaking the glass ceiling. She constantly goes out into the world of men and leads teams across wilderness and she does it with pride in being a woman. She shaves, she plucks and she looks good doing it. Not to mention, she is smart. Who knew we could have such a fantastic combination. She delves into the quandary of being beautiful and being in a stereotypical world.
This is a true must read!! Adventure all the way.
A quick examination of her roots, and one may never have guessed that Mireya Mayor would become the woman she is today. Yet, against all odds, this self-professed former "girly girl" daughter of overprotective Cuban immigrants blossomed from NFL cheerleader to Fulbright Scholar to field scientist and ultimately, quintessential adventurer. Now, with more than a decade's worth of thrilling exploits under her belt, Mayor recounts her life in a riveting, awe-inspiring new book.
In a series of short chapters, she relives each exhilarating event with uncanny charm and self-deprecating humor. Readers have the rare opportunity to follow the renowned primatologist around the globe as she unlocks the mysteries of the natural world and endeavors to save some of the planet's rarest creatures. Says Mayor: "I love the adventure, the exploration, the scientific discovery and the documentation. But really what drives me is the thought that future generations—my own children and their children—can one day learn to appreciate them like I do."
Throughout this unforgettable volume, she describes in stunning detail how she survived a plane crash...slept in jungles teeming with poisonous snakes...dove with hungry great white sharks...rappelled down a 14,000-foot sinkhole in search of frogs...draws blood from critically endangered lemurs...was charged by an angry silver-backed gorilla...was chased by elephants...and the list goes. Suffice it to say, Mireya Mayor has seen more in her 30-odd years than most of us will see in a lifetime. Her plucky spirit, brilliance in the face of calamity, and sheer will to succeed make this a classic mission book, and a thoroughly breathtaking read.
This is the bio of her on National Geographic's website.
Add it to your GoodReads list to be read.