My Guest Post on Mae Clair’s Blog

I attribute the fact that I write romantic suspense to my own experiences growing up in Africa, and in my guest post on Mae Clair’s blog today,  I wrote about a couple of them.

The post can be seen here:

http://maeclair.net/2012/11/13/mae-clairs-wizards-with-words-trish-jackson/

  

Here’s another of my true adventures:

We were in our twenties when we had a guerilla war going on in our country, now known as Zimbabwe. My husband, David was drafted, like every other able-bodied man, and he spent a lot of time away from home — so much time that our middle child, Blaise cried when he came home, because he didn’t know this stranger who sometimes came to stay was his father.

Whenever he came home from fighting the war, his work as a geophysicist took him away yet again. His company had a policy whereby women were not allowed to accompany their husbands because all the geological explorations took place in remote areas where attacks by armed terrorists were common.

One day, when his boss was out of the country, we decided to defy that rule.

Some wonderful (and naive) friends, who were expecting their first child and thought it would be fun to practice on ours, offered to take care of our two toddlers and a baby for a few days.

The first thing that really scared me was when David decided to take the comfortable Land Rover, the one with leather bucket seats — and no landmine protection. He had my best interests at heart, but I can still remember sitting very still for the more than hundred miles of dirt roads where land mines were prevalent.

I was issued with an FN rifle, like the ones the military used in case we were ambushed, and David kept the UZI on his lap.

I was relieved when we made it in one piece to the mine compound in Sengwa, but my relief was short-lived when we found that the military had commandeered the camp as a base, and were busy digging trenches because they had had word they could be attacked that night with mortars.

They graciously allowed us to use one of the bedrooms, though, and we all ate together in the common dining area. That night we were kept awake by the radio, which was located in the room next to ours, and all night we were subjected to reports from other groups who were out in the field.

The attack never occurred, but the following morning the Lieutenant chewed me out big time for leaving my rifle leaning against the wall outside when I used the restroom!! We heard that a local chief had been blown up in a land mine during the night, which meant it was probably not a good idea for David to take me and show me the sights. He particularly want me to see a pool in the Sengwa River referred to by the locals as the Pool of the Praying Fish.

We wisely decided to leave the following day, and I was overjoyed when our Land Rover wouldn’t start and we had to take one of the older mine-protected ones. The only incident on our way home was that when we rounded a bend in the road, we almost ran into a herd of elephants. David had to reverse very quietly so as not to alarm them, because the elephants in that area had a reputation for attacking vehicles. They had tipped over more than a few, and trampled over them. We waited until they had wandered off before we continued our journey.

Several hours later we arrived home in one piece and our friends were relieved to have us take the kids off their hands.

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