Cambridge couple publishes e-book, ‘Viking Voyager’ | Arts
CAMBRIDGE – A Cambridge couple, Sverrir Sigurdsson and Veronica Li, jointly published a book called Viking Voyager: An Icelandic Memoir. It is a true story about a modern day Viking who travels the world not to pillage and pillage, but to learn and contribute to the greater level of human endeavor.
Born in Iceland on the eve of World War II, Sverrir Sigurdsson watched as British troops invaded his country, turning it into a bulwark against Hitler’s advance into North America. The post-war transformation of the country from a dirt-poor to a prosperous nation became the success of every Icelandic. Encouraged by this favorable wind, Sigurdsson responded to the call of his Viking ancestors and set out on a journey that took him around the world.
After graduating in architecture in Finland in 1966, Sigurdsson embarked on a three-year plan to conquer the world. This plan took him to the Middle East, where he worked on various assignments, including building the Emir Palace and Harem in Abu Dhabi. From there he went on to Africa and supervised school building projects in Malawi and Swaziland. Eventually he joined the World Bank in 1975, the largest international aid organization based in Washington, DC. For the next 25 years, the bank sent him to work on poverty reduction programs in 26 developing countries.
Sigurdsson’s three year plan turned out to be 60 years and counts. He said he felt he actually found his fortune, not in money but in the people he met and in experiences that have enriched his heart and mind.
His advice to the youth is: “Travel, play Vikings for a year or more. You never know what treasures you will find. “
Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson, former Icelandic Foreign Minister and Ambassador to the United States, said: “This is the story of a contemporary Viking, an adventurous spirit who left Iceland at a young age to study abroad. After graduating as an architect from a Finnish university, he embarked on a mission around the globe with the United Nations and the World Bank to make the world a better place. During his journey, he was sustained by his ancestors’ legacy of stubborn resilience in the face of daunting challenges. “
“Who among us doesn’t want our descendants to learn from our lives?” asked Stephen Heyneman, Professor Emeritus of International Politics at Vanderbilt University and Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Educational Development. “This is a story that delights the heart and makes a desire for more.”