Jambo Mama

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What is it about Africa that holds such mysterious power over its visitors? Melinda Atwood, a sophisticated New Yorker, came under its spell while on a safari. Falling in love with Kenya's beauty, this woman, whose idea of roughing it was staying in anything less than a five-star hotel, found herself inexplicably drawn to both the country and its challenges. Planning to spend only one year, she remained for six.

When refreshing honesty and incisive wit, Atwood describes the continual adjustments to her new life in Kenya and her harrowing adventures in remote and dangerous areas. But the bigger adventures come when she builds a house, runs a native carpet business, and endures a difficult love affair.

The tales of finding her way will make you laugh, but you will long remember the stories of her encounters with the native people, and the consequences of breaking the established rules about relationships between the races. When Atwood says her last bittersweet taonnana to Africa, you, will too, will be sorry that her wonderful story is over.