Monday, April 25, 2016

Early years in Kenya

Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of ForgetfulnessCocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a wonderful find. Alexandra Fuller captures the seduction of the African sun and burning landscape. The vast spaces that set the mind sailing seduced her parents and made them stay against great adversity. They lived in Kenya when British Colonists spent their days in royal comfort, but those days ended with a revolution and war in the 60’s. Ms. Fuller masterfully weaves the very personal history of her dramatic childhood and the life of her stiff upper lip parents against the backdrop of a tumultuous time. Her parents chose to remain in Africa after their lands were seized and to set up housekeeping in remote Zambia where they found peace under the” Tree of Forgetfullness”. I have ordered the third book in the trilogy of Ms. Fuller’s stunning memoir.

View all my reviews

Leaving Before the Rains ComeLeaving Before the Rains Come by Alexandra Fuller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I bought this book in anticipation of my up coming trip to Zambia. I read Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, the second in Fuller’s memoir trilogy and was excited to carry on with Alexandra’s life in Africa. She painted an exotic, chaotic portrait of her parents living in Kenya and Zambia in the second book, and I couldn’t wait to get to the next chapter. In this book she acknowledges that her glamorous, amorous parents enjoyed the blissful comradery that comes when both parties are alcoholics. Their boozy parties with dancing on the table seemed less appealing to Fuller after living 16 years in Wyoming with the modern cowboy she married. Her husband was a rafting guide on the Zambezi River when they met. Pretty hunkie if you ask me, but that is not the point. The point seems to be that she and he were not compatible even though they loved each deeply. Fuller is a brilliant writer and an honest to the bone memoirist. There is nothing saccharine or banal in her reflections on her life in Kenya and Zambia while they were going through wars declaring their independence from colonial British dominance. However, I noticed the cover image on this book is of her looking away as though she still has trouble facing the truths in her life. Her mother often told her not to write any of her “awful” books about them. I was sad in the end, not because of her story, but because of Zambia’s story. In the 1990’s it was home to vast herds of elephants, giraffes, antelopes, and rhinos and cheetah. I do hope I will find the remnant of what remains of the wild animals, less than tragic and on the rebound. I hope African’s can contain the poaching that persists in the wildlife preserves in Zambia. As for Ms. Fuller, I am sure her brilliance will shine in many novels to come now that she is free of living with the conflict that comes with marriage to the wrong person.Lost Angel Walkabout: One Traveler's Tales

View all my reviews

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Make Earth Day-Every Day

My stated mission is to get to as many beautiful places as I can before they are gone!
 This would include witnessing the wildlife that is quickly moving towards extinction as a result of exploding human populations. With so much negative news on the wildlife in Africa conservation front, I was getting depressed and afraid that I am already too late. But, Nova delivered a very heartening documentary about plans in North American and in Africa to create wildlife corridors that will enable mega fauna to traverse migration routes and to thrive once more.
 It was especially exciting to learn that in the regions I am exploring in May 2016 on my UltimateSafari with Overseas Adventure Travel is are part of the KAZA area. The KAZA TFCA is an initiative of the Governments of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is situated in the Okavango and Zambezi river basins where the borders of the five countries converge.

This video shows how the five countries have come together to solve the problems of shrinking habitat and hideous poaching that crosses international borders.

This model is a powerful message for all the world demonstrating how countries can join hands for the greater good of all.  It gives me hope that it is not too late for human beings to reverse the trends that have been so destructive to the creatures that make up our beautiful world.

On my journey I will looking for signs that this treaty between countries is having a positive impact on animal and human populations. Full report when I return.

Linda Ballou is the author of Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler's Tales. See more of her articles at