Adventures in War Zones and Disaster Areas for Journalists and Relief Workers

Author Archives: Cruz

The Disaster Tourist – A Soon To Be Published Book

While I continue to work on my Adventure Thrillers such as Cobra Flight, I am also developing some Non-Fiction projects.

In active development now is a quirky, irreverent, and most likely scandalous look at how relief workers and journalists conduct themselves in war zones and humanitarian disaster areas. It also turns a jaundiced and withering eye on the criminals, politicians (often the same people) and the celebrities who make huge money out of human suffering.

I’ll be posting excerpts from my outline as I move ahead with the project.

But keep in mind, this is Non-Fiction and although it may read as Fiction it most certainly is not.


The Disaster Tourist


The Disaster Tourist is about the wild and often hallucinogenic world of aid workers and journalists caught in the huge disasters of our time.

It’s about the strange state of frenzied insanity that develops among reporters and relief workers amid death, starvation and mass murder, a state which allows them to always know where to find beer and a good time, even when millions can’t find water.

A Canadian military Hercules aircraft delivers relief supplies to East Timor

An international aid effort to rebuild East Timor after the Indonesian Army had trashed it came from as far away as Canada. This C-130 Hercules transport is delivering the first Canadian aid following the return of international aid workers in 1999. (Converted from 35mm slide)

It’s about how the people who run aid organizations are more concerned about publicity and making money than the lives of their aid workers or the people they are supposed to be helping.

It’s about media bosses in North America, Europe, and Australia being more concerned about the impact and ratings of news coverage than the conditions under which their reporters have to live.

The Disaster Tourist tells how aid groups are more concerned about appearances during a disaster than helping people and how they try to engineer the best coverage possible.

Through a highly personal and controversial style, Rick Grant, tells of his experiences as a foreign correspondent, consultant, and as an aid worker following the Ethiopian civil war, through the fall of Somalia into savagery, and amid the debris left following the disintegration of Yugoslavia, the Kosovo War, and many years amid the ruins of Afghanistan.

A refugee camp in Northern Albania

Northern Albania suffered greatly from the influx of refugees during the Kosovo War. And no town had it harder than Kukes which lies directly on the border with southern Kosovo. These refugees were housed temporarily in tents by CARE before being moved further south by UNHCR

The Disaster Tourist relates tales of amazing ineptitude by the world’s aid organizations, about senior officials endangering the lives of their field workers, about how combatants in disaster areas now know that the arrival of aid means vast riches for them.

It tells how the world’s media helped to create the debacle that led to the death of US troops in Mogadishu and the retreat of the UN Force from Somalia. How senior news anchors such as Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw and Ted Koppel, and Geraldo Rivera conducted themselves in war zones, sometimes very badly.

It shows how once famous Hollywood celebrities prostitute themselves for media exposure in disaster areas and endanger aid workers doing it. How major aid donors are given free “tours” of disaster areas at the expense of money that could go to famine victims.

It contains accounts of aid workers dealing in the black markets of Bosnia Somalia, Afghanistan and other countries. How one United Nations worker looted museum artifacts, how another bought automatic rifles for sale back in the United States, how a major aid organization fed its workers on looted food and used looted equipment.

It’s about the vast drug trade that fuels the Somali civil war, the mafia operations in Bosnia, how the people of Sarajevo had to survive both the shelling and their own criminals.

The Disaster Tourist is about what it is really like to live and work in a disaster area and how knowing where to find the beer is sometimes more important than worrying about the dying.


I don’t have a tentative publication date yet. That depends on how some of my Adventure Thriller novels in the pipeline go but I hope to get it out in eBook form in time for Xmas 2018 and in paperback and audiobook shortly after.

In the meantime, if you wish to keep abreast of this and other projects then why not hop over to my writing webpage and sign up for the newsletter advertised there.

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