Geckos & Guns: The Pakistan Years

Geckos & Guns: The Pakistan Years by Sharon Bazant shows three decorated Pakistani trucks with their drivers sitting around drinking tea. A bright blue sky is behind them.
Photo courtesy of Asian Studies Group, Islamabad, Pakistan.

The Latest Installment of Sharon Bazant’s Travel Memoirs

Geckos & Guns: The Pakistan Years is the latest installment of Sharon Bazant’s riveting travel memoirs. Following on the heels of her 2019, Nine Years in Bangkok: Lessons Learned, this new title Geckos & Guns tells of the time before Bangkok. It is a prequel that follows the first impulses of the Bazant family to break out of the mold, to leave their comfortable Canada home. With two teens in tow, they took a “hardship” posting for the United Nations in Islamabad. The book opens with Sharon and the kids joining Wayne in January 1991 and chronicles their five year stay there. Bazant brings her gift for detail to the story and paints a beautiful backdrop with her words.

Where Nine Years in Bangkok is a tale of Bazant’s personal soul journey, the focus of Geckos & Guns is the Bazant family’s time in Pakistan—a time of adjusting to new and different surroundings, of embracing cultural differences, and of recognizing imminent danger. In the five years the Bazant family spent in Pakistan, they learned to love the temperate climate and the stark beauty of the countryside, the spicy curries and the exotic weddings, but they also learned to negotiate constant power cuts, flash floods, trips into opium country, bombings, a family emergency and more.

Bazant says, “I see each one of us clearly—our ‘selves’ of the past. I think about our experiences, some awe-inspiring, some traumatic, and the decisions we made that forged our future paths. We were younger more optimistic versions of ourselves. Did we make mistakes? Yes. Did we take some wrong turns? Yes. Did some of this form our future selves? Yes. The big question is: Would I do things differently if given the chance? I don’t know. We all did the best we could at the time.” 

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Author Sharon Bazant was interviewed about her book, Geckos & Guns: The Pakistan Years for The Authors Show.

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