Between Gorillas: My Mother, Her Dreams, And Me A Memoir

By Edwin Sabuhoro, Ph.D.
Regular price $93.00

This book is about a life I have lived as a refugee—a painful yet joyful life.

It’s about my parents' struggle in exile, their struggle to live and stay alive. It’s about the savage killings of Tutsis in 1959 and the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, but it’s also about the triumphs that we endured as a family.

It’s a book about my mother and her love, hope, faith, and forgiveness.

It’s a testament to the resilience of a refugee child and a family going through so much yet always remaining hopeful.

It’s a book about a stranger’s patience, empathy, and generosity and about the gift of life and what it has taught me—endurance, courage, persistence, and a belief in my dreams as they have become big dreams. It is a book about my wounds and scars and how they remind me of a future yet unknown.

Over the years, I have walked through my share of thorny, muddy lands. Blades of grass have cut my feet, and my tender heels have been drilled into by nasty critters. I’ve faced more than my portion of cruel and evil-spirited human intent on breaking me down. To forgive all that tried its best to cut me down, chew me up, and spit me out, I’ve learned to forgive.

For me, forgiveness has become the most unique and beautiful part of me as my learned compassion always reminds me of how my past has influenced me to embrace my future. To become entangled in the negative of the past would have only slowed me down and left me bitter. I do not want nor do I need either. For I am a warrior who will charge forward and leave my mark on this land we call home.

I will not tire, tarry, nor will I falter. Nothing negative will slow me down.

I embrace my constant search for love and hope and keep my faith close while I continue to forgive a noisy and thorny world.

In the end, I chose the light of day rather than the darkness of night. Love, hope, faith, and forgiveness are the paths of virtue I choose to walk.

About the Author

Edwin Sabuhoro, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management and African Studies at Pennsylvania State University. He lives in State College, Pennsylvania.

He works with local communities in the Virunga Mountains, home to endangered Mountain Gorillas. Over the past fifteen years, Edwin has established integrated conservation and community development programs that have addressed the challenges of indigenous communities, promoted socio-economic development, and led to improved conservation outcomes for mountain gorillas and their habitats.

His efforts have been recognized through numerous awards, including the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 2008 Young Conservationist of the Year Award, the 2015 UN-GRASP-Ian Redmond Conservation Award in 2015, and the 2016 eChievement Award, among others.

He was selected and invited by President Obama to participate in the 2010 Young African Leaders Forum in Washington D.C.

His work with Mountain Gorillas and indigenous people was featured on the 2015 CNN African Voices, and he was recognized among the 2015 CNN Heroes.

Published: 2005
Page Count: 32

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
Calvin L. Schoulties,

“Between Gorillas My Mother, Her Dreams, and Me A Memoir” by Edwin Sabuhoro
with Maribeth Shanley (Dorrance Publishing Co. 2024) is 295-pages of Edwin Sabuhoro’s
painful and triumphant experiences from his birth in Uganda in 1976 through 2023. For
his first 18 years, Edwin was immersed in war, suffering, poverty, abuse by relatives,
educational disruption, discrimination and life-threating experiences. On the brighter
side during those same years, Edwin and his four siblings were inspired and graced by
their Mum, Jolly Boonabaana, to never give up, to move on with hope, to become
college educated one day, and to forgive those who may have wronged you. His Dad,
Mpama Titen, who Edwin first met in his memory when he was 13-years-old, was loved,
nonetheless, by Edwin despite his Dad’s absences and shortcomings.
I have personally known Edwin since December of 2018 when he had just returned from
Rwanda to Clemson, South Carolina, where he, my wife, and I attended the graduation
of a Tanzanian friend who received his Ph.D. degree from the same Parks, Recreation
and Tourism Management Department at Clemson University where Edwin had
received his Ph.D. only 7 months earlier in May 2018. We formed a close relationship
with Edwin through his departure in August 2020 to become an Assistant Professor at
Penn State University’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Management.
During the above 20-month-jobless time in Clemson, Edwin wrote his Memoir along
with Maribeth Shanley. He asked me to edit an early draft. Knowing Edwin’s story, I
asked him in a few words to describe his Mum. He said without hesitation, “hope, faith,
love, and forgiveness”. I then asked him to likewise describe his Dad. He paused and
said, “Dad struggled with those same four virtues”. I sensed in my relationship with
Edwin that there was an invisible, yet perceptible, cloak of those four virtues about him
which took on a warrior’s demeanor, not of combat, but of resilience and determination
to forge ahead no matter what befalls you and to make the world a better place.
In the winter of 2020, I arranged a meeting with Edwin, a local Lutheran Pastor
Emeritus, Frank Honeycutt, who was a regular columnist in the “Living Lutheran”
magazine, and myself. Pastor Frank was so taken by Edwin’s life story that he soon
wrote an article in the fore mentioned magazine entitled “Surprise, You’ve Died
Grounded in Grace” (February 2020) that contained some of Edwin’s story. He states in
this article: “I left that lunch thinking any advice shared between us should flow the
other way as I was unable to recall meeting anyone who has encountered so much
suffering but still exhibits such an enviable demeanor of calm spiritual depth.”

African Silverback Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and as well as
all wildlife large and small, all vegetation and fellow humans in villages surrounding that
Volcanoes Park are featured prominently toward the end of Edwin’s Memoir. From
2004 to 2018 with back-and-forths between the United Kingdom in 2005-06 (MS) and
the US in 2015-18 (Ph.D.), Edwin worked tirelessly to prevent gorilla and wildlife
poaching in the Volcanoes Park by local economically impoverished villagers, who
surrounded the Park. A statistical decrease in poaching numbers was obtained in large
measure by Edwin’s contributions of his money, time, and expertise in building the
Gorilla Guardian Village outside the Volcanoes Park which gave villagers income
opportunities in agriculture, conservation and tourism instead of poaching in the Park.
For this work, Edwin has received international acclaim and notable awards which are
stated in his Memoir.
Included in this Memoir are 43-pages of photographs and documents that include
photos of Mum, Dad, Edwin, Edwin’s 4 siblings, 3 children, and many friends.
I highly recommend Edwin Sabuhoro’s Memoir with Maribeth Shanley: “Between
Gorillas My Mother, Her Dreams, and Me” and give this Memior a 5-star rating!.