artwork by divagares

I was a mess when I got home from Africa: Embarrassed. Confused. Hurt. Angry. Ashamed. The most painful feeling was a result of Ruby’s words echoing in my heart, telling me I was a failure; that I had hurt the kids.

When I sat down to write Ruby’s World, it was tempting to clean myself up.  Nothing drastic, just a few different words here or there, or a slight adjustment to my actions that might make me look smarter or less naive.

Zodwa's mother

But Ruby’s World is such a powerful story precisely because I’m just an ordinary woman. Flying by the seat of my pants, I was caught short on a number of occasions – the coffin party, the lightning strike at school, the witch doctors’ control over the AIDS epidemic.  My reactions were real: spontaneous, unscripted, and often confusing to my hosts.

So I was anxious when reviews of Ruby’s World started popping up on Amazon, hopeful that my readers would be kind.  Much to my surprise, one of the most frequent comments is appreciation for the “raw and honest” way I shared my experience.  They say that because I behaved in ways they could relate to, they felt as though they were there with me, living each moment as it happened.

So feel free to “book” yourself a trip to KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa where you will encounter a vivid, extraordinary blend of old and new Africa, adventures that will make you laugh and cry – all without leaving the comfort of your armchair.  And if you read Ruby’s World, I’d love to hear your “raw and honest” emotions.