Company of Strangers

To Asia, Africa, and the Long Way Home

1975 was a time of social unrest, civil rights, and new freedoms for women to determine their own destinies. In that world, I dove into experiences, chasing my gypsy dreams. The adventure began with hopping a freight train across Canada, living in Paris, working in Lebanon, a country on the brink of war, and falling in love in Istanbul. It was India, a land of baffling contradictions, that drew me into its allure. A solo trek in the Himalayas crowned that Asian journey. By 1980, immersed in another world, both heart-wrenching and rewarding, I worked as a nurse in the stark, unforgiving desert of Djibouti, Africa. 


Four decades later, I returned to India, a country undergoing radical change, but I too had changed, facing new perspectives and vulnerabilities. Intense, complicated India still tugged at my heart.

Company of Strangers explores the life of a restless traveler through hot terrains of passion and purpose and cooler landscapes of solitude and sorrow. It is my rite of passage, from a young to an older woman, from wandering far away to finding home.

Book cover pending


Encounters on the Front Line


Encounters on the Front Line is a nurse’s journey that begins in a Cambodian refugee camp after the horrific Khmer Rouge regime. Nearly three decades later Elaine returns. She meets the people on the front lines - the human rights activists, the caregivers, and those who needed care, inspiring her to explore the challenges of service.


"Powerful and poignant, intimate and insightful. The careful reader will learn a great deal about Cambodia’s recent history and current culture as the Khmer people struggle to deal with the unfathomable trauma that continues to shape them."
— Bill Herod, Human Rights Worker, Cambodia


"A riveting and enlightening book, brimming with perspective.  Elaine writes with great honesty, passion and clarity." 
— Woody Wheeler, author of Look Up 

Encounters on the Front Line

is available through the following sites






You can't cross the sea
by merely standing and staring at the water.
Rabrindanath  Tagore
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© 2019  Elaine Harvey | Writer

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