Surviving A Simple Life is the real-life account of Patrick Smyth's development from a young boy until he completed military service. Most of the story is set in a remote part of South Africa, a secluded life in the bush veldt with very little contact with the outside world. Experience his transition from a seemingly normal suburban life to a military-style boarding school far away. Share in his trials of discipline and punishment exacerbated by systemic bullying. Witness the choices he made to respond to, and overcome, the challenges posed by bullies. His book is an entertaining and stirring chronicle of resilience. Patrick Smyth's typical suburban childhood in Johannesburg, South Africa, changed suddenly when, at the age of seven, he boarded a train to live at a boarding school surrounded by bush veldt. Life in the Spingbok Flats brought floods, droughts, and plagues of mice and insects. He met a range of bullies with courage and cunning. He invented mischievous solutions to boredom. As a soldier, he survived frightening encounters with elephants and other African animals. He escaped a nighttime confrontation with a bull elephant by climbing a hill. A sudden rain shower saved him from a dangerous bush fire. These and other adventures and challenges shaped and prepared him for life as an adult. He tells the story of an innovative, caring, irrepressible, and adventurous spirit determining its own course in life with very little nurturing or support. As a bonus, Patrick has included a chapter with his perspective on the lessons from the events in the story.