Head of the Hyena
Head of the Hyena is the stirring account of a young man’s life-altering experience teaching in the isolated community of Wikondiek. He is joined there by Sabina, a beautiful and strong-willed young woman who is offered a position in the village despite never having applied for it. Their host is Phoebe Asiyo, the sole female elder among the Luo tribe. The daughter of a backcountry preacher, she defied a hostile government to become one of the first female MPs in Kenya, going on to entertain Barack Obama when he visited Luo-Nyanza as a U.S. senator.
In Volume 2 of the series, Cameron begins to settle into village life, but every day brings new challenges. Many of his students are malnourished but still manage to run roughshod over him, especially when he is stricken with a mysterious illness. He and Sabina continue to butt heads whenever they leave Wikondiek, braving rattletrap bus and bandit-patrolled roads. In the heart of Africa’s largest urban slum, they meet a young slum-dwelling philosopher who pours out his heart over the purity of ideas. During a soccer match in Nairobi, they are swept up in a clash between hooligans and the army. A solo weekend with a captivating stranger on the edge of Lake Naivasha leaves Cameron utterly bewildered.
Filled with unforgettable characters and ambitious in its scope, Head of the Hyena is more than a travel memoir – it is the witty and compelling meditation of a young man of the West grappling with how the past spills into the present to define our identity across generations.
Cameron Dick is the author of Head of the Hyena, a three-volume series that details his experience in the rural Kenyan village of Wikondiek during the spring of 2012. He spent a semester studying abroad at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and went on to graduate from York University with a B.A. (Hons) in English and a minor in anthropology. Having whetted his appetite for adventure in Australia and Kenya, he has since managed to get stranded in the Highlands of Iceland during a blizzard and canoed the Yukon River from Whitehorse to Dawson City. He lives in Kingston, Ontario.
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