It's also a roller coaster ride of a travelogue. There is an inverse relationship between my angst and my diversion-seeking behavior which takes the reader through packs of cigarettes and bottles of good South African cheap wine, across crocodile infested waters, on 33 mile runs with, boulders and baboons, and into very precarious emotional and social situations from which I manage to extricate myself and remain unscathed. At 26, I am weary, wondering, homesick and puzzled about love. And I really want to find out how to get into the Okavango delta for good! The raw stream of thoughts, events and feelings, are like a rope, magnified down to the fiber level. The personal account of Botswana highlights the different strands of my journey and how they are woven together: the cycles of highs and lows about teaching, poverty, personal love, a struggling society, relationships, adventure, and running. They are inseparable components recalled vividly. The characters include British geologists working for DeBeers, an Afrikaner mercenary working at a Botswana abattoir, American geologists and Peace Corps teachers, Canadian teachers, and a local zoologist, among others. These people were friends and many still are in contact. The book is about running and becoming whole in self (fighting the yang) and a phenomenal athlete quite by accident. As a way of coping, I picked up long distance running during this period of teaching and competed to become the National Marathon Champion of Botswana in 1992.
Stephanie Jill Hodge is the author of three works of non-fiction. She also published a technical book on indigenous people rights to quality education in mainstream schools. She has been working internationally on education and environment issues for over 22 years as staff and consultant for the United Nations. She has run over 80 Marathons and has one 7 seven in Newfoundland, Bermuda and New York. She won the New York More Marathon at 42 and the Bermuda marathon at 44. She started her international UN career as a volunteer overseas working for the World University Services of Canada.