Reading my way to Africa

Reading is constantly getting me into trouble.

I read the label on my underwear and went to Bangladesh where I was nearly pulled to pieces in a Bangladeshi mosh pit. I read Dracula and went to Romania where I spent the night alone at the real life Castle Dracula. And now reading is playing a crucial part in calling me to Africa.

Before Life in Abundance asked me to go with them, I had spent much of the previous six months reading about Africa. It was a conscious decision. I wasn’t intentionally focusing on the continent.

I like Dave Eggers so I read What is the What — an amazing read about the Lost Boys of Sudan trying to escape war, but never quite able to do it.

A friend recommended Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder – another story about escaping war. The main character ends up in NYC living in Central Park. It’s about a refugees resilience and the decency and kindness of strangers to see the potential in a fellow human and help them reach that potential.

Ishmael Beah came to Ball State U to talk about his book A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. It’s a story about the light in us overcoming the darkness. Ishmael is an inspiration.

So when Justin at Life in Abundance asked me if I had ever thought about going to Africa, I gave him a resounding YES. At that time, there was nowhere I thought about going more.

We made the plans. Rule29 designed the campaign, and now I’m just a few short weeks away from stepping foot on African soil. I can’t wait!

Once again, reading has got me in trouble. Let’s just hope that there aren’t any mosh pits, vampires, lions, or, even worse, a mosh pit of vampiric lions, anywhere in my near future.


Kelsey! I’m behind reading your blog.

I also LOVED “What Is The What”.

AWESOME that you’re going to Africa! How can I support your trip? Pray? Donate? Send supplies?

I see another book out of this … 😉


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