Mr Ray Would Like a Monkey is an honest and compelling memoir, telling the story of how a middle-aged Irish businessman became a humanitarian aid worker and his experiences on the front line, going into war zones and disaster areas as most other people leave.
Written with the black humour necessary to survive in such dangerous places, it covers adventures and misadventures in Bosnia, Kenya/South Sudan, Sierra Leone and Mozambique. From working under curfew in war-torn Sierra Leone to unexpectedly becoming the owner of the pet monkey in flooded Mozambique, Ray Taylor describes his adventures with honesty and compassion. He also explores the difficulties in adjusting to everyday life when he returns home, while a chapter from his wife telling the story from her perspective is a valuable counterpoint narrative.
Illustrated with the author’s own photographs, Mr Ray Would Like a Monkey will appeal to all of those with an interest in true stories, different lifestyles, travel, working in different cultures, war stories, humour/pathos, and problem-solving.
Ray Taylor lives in the seaside town of Skerries, Co. Dublin along with his wife, Liz, and has three children and seven grandchildren. He has been involved in humanitarian aid in Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and has completed seventeen overseas missions to date.
He has published articles on his humanitarian aid work in the Irish Times and Huffington Post, organised logistics for the BBC documentary Kielty in Sudan and facilitated a feature on Sierra Leone by Conor Lally for the Irish Times. He has also been featured in Road Racing Ireland.