Launching Into the Unknown
“What should I bring to Africa?”
The answer I got to that question at 31 years old was “Whatever makes you feel at home.” Having lived in the southern United States, I had no idea what to pack. Once I arrived in Africa, I adjusted quickly to the various places I lived. “Home” became more of a state of mind than a physical location or set of things.
Some of my most unique experiences happened because I said yes to adventuring half-way around the globe:
- Waking in the middle of the night to find the house invaded by army ants;
- Realizing I was the only white person on a very full bus and feeling comfortable with that;
- Meeting someone at a shop and ending up in their home having breakfast;
- Spending an afternoon at the Sudanese ambassador’s house;
- Enjoying sheep intestines while thinking it is macaroni.
This is but a small fraction of the story, for Sudan was fuller, richer, more changeable, unpredictable, and fascinating than I expected. The people are gracious, forgiving, and hospitable. The tastes, sights, and sounds reflect a vibrant, determined, and joyful richness that overcomes poverty and significant difficulties. I was challenged and encouraged while learning great patience and the value of perseverance. This story bears my immense gratitude, especially to the Sudanese, who have taught me so much.
Launching Into the Unknown: Discovering the Beautiful and Bewildering World of the Sudanese is Book 1 of The “Not How I Planned It” Memoirs – join our mailing list to keep updated on future books!