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unreal: Adventures of a Family's Global Life

ISBN: 9781545657218
Binding: Paperback
Author: Phil McDonald
Pages: 426
Trim: 5.5 x 8.5 inches
Published: 6/25/2019

Stalked by lions, charged by rhinos, and chased by pirates, Phil McDonald has lived a life of adventure working overseas. Typhoid, malaria, riots, coups, and rebel soldiers were part of normal life. For his children, any day could be a grand field trip. While unreal might read like a thriller, this memoir is more than an adventure story.

The author recounts ninety events, highlights sixty lessons, from over thirty years of experience. The dirty little secret of humanitarian work in the developing world was a sobering discovery—centuries of handouts created enormous dependency that restricted personal growth and destroyed dignity. McDonald began as an overseas professor and now mentors social entrepreneurs.

If you are drawn to adventure, to travel, and what it’s like to raise a family in an amazing environment, enjoy this read. Discover how to navigate danger, manage fear, and cope with loss. Embrace the hope, laugh at the ups and downs, and revel in the extravagant diversity and courage of inspiring partners who will change you forever.


Phil McDonald is president of Leader Empowerment And Development, Inc. (LEAD), an American nonprofit that empowers leaders in the developing world through education and social entrepreneurship. With work experience in thirty-eight countries, the author has helped set up or empower over 150 overseas development projects on five continents. Projects included hospitals, clinics, orphanages, community centers, schools, businesses, farms, plantations, and factories. His current priority is helping social enterprises, bringing hope and dignity to his field partners. Phil earned a PhD in International Education from Michigan State University and specialized in national planning, policy analysis, and development economics. His wife Rebecca is founder and CEO of Women At Risk International, a leader in the fight against human trafficking. The McDonalds live in Michigan, have four adult children and seven grandchildren.

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