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Alastair Henry

“Audio Book Narrator, Author, International Organizational Development Advisor, Global backpacker, and double lung transplant recipient”

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About Me

I emigrated to Canada from England when I was 19 to follow my girlfriend who had emigrated with her family four months earlier. We married, had three children, and got divorced 20 years later.

I became a successful yuppie, retired at 57 from the corporate world, and bought an idyllic retirement retreat in the country – 50 acres, 5 ponds, 18 acres of hardwood bush, with a river running through the property.

Two years later and disillusioned with the passivity of retirement, I relocated to Lutsel K’e, a small (300 Chipewyans) remote fly-in community on the east arm of Great Slave Lake in Canada’s Northwest Territories in search of adventure and personal fulfillment. I went in as a seasoned businessman to manage their development corporations and came out two years later more of a social worker, intent on sharing my skills to help improve the lives of others. Cultural differences and a challenging environment ignited in me fresh perspectives, inspired a new way of being, fueled my soul searching, and changed the direction of my life going forward. I wrote about it in my autobiography: “Awakening in the Northwest Territories”

Six months later I was in Dhaka, Bangladesh on a two-year assignment as an international development advisor to an NGO working with the abjectly poor. I backpacked twice through India on vacation to see the Taj Mahal, Varanasi, Sarnath, and Cherrapunji.

When I returned to Canada, I volunteered with a local Resource Centre, met Candas, the Executive director, and fell in love. She sold her house and possessions and together we went to Kingston. Jamaica for 12 months as international development advisors to local NGOs working with the youth. Two years later we were in Georgetown, Guyana on another one-year volunteering assignment and in between we vacationed in Antigua and Tobago.

We felt compelled to write “Go For It – Volunteering Adventures on Roads Less Traveled to encourage other retirees to consider volunteering and sharing their skills..

In between volunteering assignments, we backpacked Central America (Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua) for four months and a year later, S. E. Asia (Bali, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand) for four months as if we were in our twenties, instead of our late sixties. It was such a wonderful experience that we wrote “Budget Backpacking for Boomers” to show fellow Boomers how it could be done on a budget of just $40 per day per person for food, accommodations and local travel.

For the next four years, we were entertainers, presenting audio/visual shows based on our books and photographs to diverse audiences in S. W. Ontario.

In Jan 2019 I was diagnosed with idiopathic Pulmonary fibrosis – an incurable lung disease with high morbidity (3-5 years), put on oxygen 24/7 and given a predicted life expectancy of 18 months. With a best-before date of June 2020, my final wish was to go to England and Guernsey in August 2019 with Candas, my three children, and grandchildren to say a final goodbye to my sister, family, and friends.

I began writing a novel in 2016 about an orphan being sent to Canada as a Home Child. I’d written about 60,000 words but didn't have time to get the other 30,000 words in my head down on paper so I stopped writing.

Early in 2020, at the urging of my children, I investigated the possibility of having a lung transplant and was surprised to learn that I was eligible if I lost a little weight. I went on the lung waitlist in June 2020 and had a double lung transplant on September 4, 2020.

With this Gift of Life, I finished writing 'The Soldier and The Orphan', published it on Amazon in August 2022, narrated it in December 2022, and published it as an audiobook on Audible in January 2023.

I also narrated "Awakening in the Northwest Territories' and published it on Audible.

And now I am embarking on a new career at the age of 78 as a narrator, podcast guest and voice-over artist - apparently, there is demand for senior male voices with British accents.

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