Jambo, Mama - Memories of Africa
"Forget Karen Blixen, this is
|- Bernise O’Reilly, UK|
"A beguiling, frank and unpretentious
|- Kirkus Review (entire review)|
"There were the Ngong Hills. Those four very distinct knuckles, rising before me in a 180-degree postcard view, were the Africa I had been dreaming about. And despite my pronounced insecurities about the situation I had just plunked myself down in, I suddenly felt that if I could just sit there, look at those hills, and smell the air in Africa, I just might live through the year I had signed on for. For the first time since I had arrived in Nairobi, I could remember what it was about Africa that had captured such a large part of my soul. There is an expression, ‘Once you have Africa in your blood….’ Well, I sure had it in mine."
From the Inside Cover
To cope with painful family circumstances following her mother’s death, Melinda Atwood did the only sensible thing: she ran away from home. Choosing a place as far away as possible, Atwood landed in Kenya, where she was planning to spend one year. She stayed for six, attempting to build a new life out of the wreckage of the old.
Isolated and alone, she struggled with financial deprivation, a disastrous love affair, and raising her son, Jake, on her own. Safaris to Kenya’s remote and dangerous deserts brought further physical hardships. But as each challenge was met, there was that gratifying sense of "Yes, I can!" As she built a house, ran a small carpet business and slowly conquered her fears, Atwood discovered a new strength and resourcefulness. She was becoming the kind of woman she had always admired.
Woven in among the tales of the wonders of Africa, larger than life characters, and daily occurances, there is the heart warming story of a staff member, Mildred Nzike. With nothing in common but sons the same age, these two women, one black and one white, struck up a unique and very touching relationship. Drawn together by mutual respect and dependence, they developed a friendship that broke all the colonial rules about the relationships between the races.
Told with refreshing honesty and incisive wit, Atwood’s is an inspirational story of determination, hope and courage.
Cover design by Robert Aulicino