Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Reading about Africa

There are lots of good books many of you have probably already read about this beloved continent, Out of Africa being one of them... (NO, the movie does not count!)

{Side Note: The first place Kent and I lived in Africa in 1999 was in Karen, about 1 mile from the historic home of Karen Blixen, incognito author of that book! Gorgeous place to fall in love with Africa, even if the encroaching capital city had changed the neighborhood a lot...}

Though you may not see them from your Starbucks table at the bookstore or on any billboards, there are two books on Africa definitely worth reading. Okay, I am a bit biased... They are written by two colleagues of mine and much of what they write gives insight into how our lives work day to day.

BOOK 1: (you know, Thing 1 and Thing 2? Maybe I read too much Dr. Seuss...)

Barbara and her husband precede us by a decade or two, so we have never met in person, but their stories give lots of humor and insight to the realities of working here. Of course our working strategies and details have changed a bit since then, but due to the history of this place there are things she was able to buy back then that we can no longer find here, like brown sugar. I have already read through it twice and still enjoy it. If you're looking for a novel, this isn't it, but it will give you a funny and clear picture of how things work here. She places the emphasis on "REAL" and I can vouch to you that it is just that!


(Yes, the two women are married to cousins.)
Linda is a dear friend of mine. When we first came to Africa 10 years ago she and her husband were working in the school administration where I was a volunteer teacher for missionary kids. We had great fun that year! One time I was trying to make an international phone call to interview for a teaching job back home the following year and Linda was sharing her office for this purpose. (All went well btw - call made, clear connection, questions answered and job taken...) As I turned to leave her office she was locking up behind me and we were chatting when my eyes caught something posted on the wall next to her desk. It looked like a cute stick drawing done by a young child. Slowly it dawned on me that I was not reading the child's scrawl of a beloved student at the school... It said something like, "We miss you Nana." With tears in my eyes I turned to Linda, "I thought it was excruciating to leave my friends and parents behind and come to Africa, but you left your grandchildren!" I can't imagine how hard that must have been, but she did it for the Lord she loves. She did it with grace. And had fun too! Check out sweet Linda's blog here: Quaint I Ain't.


GlowinGirl said...

Thanks for heads up on the first book! I enjoyed Grandma's Letters from Africa, so now I'll have to look for Through the Outhouse Floor. And maybe I'll try Out of Africa one more time. Maybe. :)

Mrs. bradley said...

Oh I hope I can find these! I so want to read them!