A travel journal of a unique experience working on a conservation and research project in Romania. More info at: www.dreamingofwolves.com. Part travelogue, part memoir, part exposition of natural and cultural history, Dreaming of Wolves presents a unique and colorful story of adventure. Through a series of entertaining vignettes, the author paints an intimate and intricate picture of nature and life as it occurs in a fascinating part of Europe that has remained largely untouched by modern trends and undiscovered by western travelers, at least until recently. Whether joining the narrator as he tracks wolves in the forests of the Carpathian Mountains, or battles antagonistic shepherd dogs, or sits on the floor of a cave contemplating time and consciousness, or makes a journey through history to discover the real Dracula, as one reads Dreaming of Wolves one absorbs, almost without realizing it, a remarkable amount of factual information about wolves, about traditional and rural life in Romania, about the history of Romania, about animal behavior, and even about physics. Written in an understated style, the story is related with an honesty and a subtle sense of humor that derives from events perceived by a keen and sensitive eye. The book presents several sub-themes - such as, the importance of conserving wilderness, the value of discovering self through uncovering and pursuing one's dreams, the nature of time and consciousness - all of which are woven smoothly into the fabric of a well-told story. The author's beautiful color photographs of the people, animals and locales enhance the narrative and help the reader to understand the cultural and historical perspectives that influence life in Romania today.
About the author
Alan E. Sparks is (or has been) an engineer, writer, actor, and teacher. He graduated from the University of Maine with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering Physics, and from Stanford University with a Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering. Alan has also completed post-secondary courses in philosophy, sociology, psychology, art, acting, exercise physiology, film making, and writing at the University of Colorado, Merrimack College, and Naropa University. He was employed for over twenty years as a software engineer developing new technologies in the telecommunications industry, including nineteen years as a member of technical staff at Bell Laboratories. An avid walker, hiker, backcountry skier, and animal tracker, Alan has lived, worked, and trekked extensively in the wilds of Central and Eastern Europe. He is a voracious reader and enjoys studying the natural and cultural history of the places he visits. To supplement his indoor studies, he has completed courses in mountaineering with the Colorado Mountain Club, mountain ski touring/expedition leadership with the National Outdoor Leadership School, and winter ecology/animal tracking with renowned animal tracker Dr. James Halfpenny. Alan currently divides his time between Krakow, Poland and Boulder, Colorado. He continues to write (working on the sequel to Dreaming of Wolves about The Way Of The Wolf expedition), and teaches English (in Poland), and occasionally seizes an opportunity to perform as an actor or percussionist.