As a geologist working in mineral exploration for one of the largest mining companies in the world, Roger Kuhns traveled the rocky terrains of the earth, seeking precious metals and diamonds, a journey that began with a passion for the natural environment but became one of self-discovery. He soon realized that navigating the corporate world could be far more treacherous than the deepest mines in South Africa or the most remote drill rig in Venezuela.
This collection of stories—part memoir, part monologue—begins in the rainforests of French Guyana, where, amid giant spiders, deadly snakes and contentious local factions, Kuhns must negotiate the development of a gold mine, struggling with the larger question of how to take from nature while preserving it. He goes on to East Africa, narrowly avoiding being attacked by lions, while wrestling with larger contradictions between faith and tradition, wondering how does one save oneself—even as he is mistaken for Jesus at a Tanzanian bar. His work takes him north to a former Siberian gulag, where Kuhns must deal with the black mafia and navigate the corrupt policies of the newly post-Soviet Russia, and far south into the desolate Australian Outback, rich with minerals and the ghosts of the continent’s dark colonial past.
Didn’t See That Coming is an honest look into the hearts and minds of people who seek better lives in a world that is not always fair, not often kind, but always personal. We glimpse the world through the eyes of an explorer; a man and humanitarian, who is driven to understand what lies beneath the earth, but not at the expense of those who inhabit it. This is a story of a geologist seeking answers to our greatest questions – and finding them.
“Fans who have enjoyed Kuhns’ dramatic monologues will want a copy of this book, as will anyone who is an armchair traveler at heart, curious about exotic, but highly inconvenient (and sometimes risky) locations around the globe.”
– Gary Jones, PENINSULA PULSE
“A gifted writer and musician, Kuhns has used his life experiences to craft monologues that are as culturally and scientifically enlightening as they are emotionally moving.”
– Judy M. Drew, THIRD AVENUE PLAYHOUSE
“Well-crafted, skillfully interwoven stories…I would’ve happily stayed longer around the campfire in the company of these characters and this storyteller.”
– Roberta Parker, MINNESOTA FRINGE FESTIVAL WEBSITE
“Thank you for creating the characters, colors, and experiences so vividly – so completely engrossing.”
– Nancy Paulin, DOOR COUNTY ADVOCATE
“[This] is a collage of recollections [that] nicely blend humor, poetry, dangerous critters and philosophy.”
– SHOCKWAVE RADIO THEATER
“One of these days someone will write a book about the fascinating Roger…in the meantime, there is a chapter called “Jungle Gold” that Roger performs as a one-man show a la Spaulding Gray…and you can see that Roger’s performance is a favorable comparison.”
– Sheila Sabrey-Saperstein, ISADOORA THEATRE COMPANY
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Roger James Kuhns is a man of many talents. He is a writer, filmmaker, performer, geologist (Ph.D.), and founder of SustainAudit, LLC, a sustainable practices application company based in Mystic, Connecticut.
As a youth, Roger spent his free time fossil hunting in Illinois and Wisconsin. These interests eventually led him to on his academic path; Beloit College in Wisconsin where he majored in geology, the University of Washington where he earned his masters of science in geology, and the University of Minnesota where he earned his Ph.D. in economic geology.
Since the late 1970s he has worked on natural resources, mineral discovery, and environmental protection while working in over 80 countries around the world, including living in South Africa for 8 years. It was through this work, that his passion for living and building a sustainable world began to blossom.
Beginning in the late 1990s he began writing monologues. Roger has written 12 monologues and performed many of them at fringe festivals and small theaters including a show at the Acorn Theater in New York City. Roger’s love of writing continued while he worked as a news writer for Wisconsin newspapers and radio stations in the early 2000s and has published 45 professional and public interest articles.
Roger’s goal of enlightening people to the urgencies of protecting the environment and working towards sustainable communities has led him to pass on his knowledge through teaching and his company SustainAudit. Roger continues to lead field trips in Wisconsin, presents workshops and lectures in the Midwest and east coast, and contributes numerous articles on geology, ecology, sustainability, and climate change.
Roger and his wife Anne currently reside in Mystic, Connecticut with a cottage in Door County, Wisconsin. He has two grown children, Madeleine, and Matthew, who are his best friends and has enjoyed their company on many of his life adventures. Roger continues to live his life sustainably, striving for a zero-waste lifestyle.