I posted on International Christian Fiction Writers about my recent trip to Kenya to train African writers for young adults.
I celebrated a birthday this week. I don’t feel any older. They say your personality is formed in early childhood. I don’t feel any different than when I was young. I’m a little more confident, a little more humble, a little more mature. Hopefully I’m a little more patient with people, but I’m basically still me.
I’m still an introvert who acts like an extrovert because… that’s what you’re supposed to be, isn’t it? I still love music and books.
It’s your fault!
Who hasn’t heard voices like these telling her how worthless she is? I know I have.
I’m scared is not a good enough reason to say ‘no’. There may be perfectly good reasons. (It’s stupid, dangerous, illegal, Jesus would be disappointed in me.) But my fears alone are not a valid determinant of whether or not I should do something. It is that philosophy that has led me to walk on hot coals, travel alone to a village in Western Kenya, or enter a national figure skating competition.
Kisumu, Kenya, looks like a peaceful city. It hugs the shore of Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa. Sometimes called “the eye of the rhino,” the lake sits on a plateau in a split of the Great Rift Valley between Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. When I visited in August, I saw no signs of the violence that swept the city following the December 2007 elections when the Luo candidate for president lost under questionable conditions to the Kikuyu candidate from Nairobi. But the pain has left deep scars.
Ethnic violence wasn’t confined to the city. I came to the village of Awasi, an hour east, to teach a workshop on writing for children affected by the violence. Every morning empty trucks rattle over the dirt road out of town. They return each afternoon, loaded with cane from local farmers. Children chase the trucks, hoping <!--more-->for something to fall off. It usually does. Life goes on despite the horrors of the past.
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.