The Wonder of New Found Friends

Friday night I was welcomed into a meeting of the “Neighborhood Book Club” by Susan Clarke and a group of her friends who’ve been gathering together discussing books  for several years. Other than Sue, I knew no one. And, truthfully, I’d just met Sue for coffee a few weeks earlier. Essentially, I walked into a room of strangers.


And,  I guarantee no one had more fun than I did.

First, they asked me to tell them about my life in South Africa. And then they asked direct questions, inquiring about how I handled certain situations while writing my book MIDNIGHT IN MALAMULELE and while living in South Africa.

One question I particularly enjoyed was when was I most fearful while living in South Africa.

And now that I’ve mentioned the question, do you readers want to know the scariest thing I encountered as well?

Oddly enough, it was not getting used to a foreign place with young children, Philip, 8; Stacy turning 6 and Chris turning 4.  No, it had nothing to do with introducing the new culture to my children or finding new doctors and schools and learning my way around in a country absolutely foreign to me in 1972.

It was not the morning my husband and I found Martha, the woman who worked for us, shivering in her bed, convinced she was dying and attributing it to her brother who had a witch doctor cast a spell on her …

It was not the day I was nearly swept into a racial riot in Alexander Township where I volunteered …

It was not the day a tall, African in a three-piece suit walked up, playfully shaking his knob carry at my baby daughter Anne-Marie, 3 months, on the very day that black South Africans had organized a protest vowing to kill white children …

No, it was something different …

And next time, I will go into detail about “Night of the Dogs” and how terrified I was. Check here later this week for the second part of this blog.

Thanks again, girls, for a wonderful night!


Left to right: Back row Sharon Miller, Peggy Winn, Sharon Hill, Lyn Chambers, Pam Grove

Front row: Sandy Anas, Susan Clarke, Marsha Mallory-Bennett, Linda Fisher, Linda Ayers, Lauren Allwein.