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.
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.