Tea, Scones, and Malaria
Published by: Katlynn Brooke
Release Date: March 31, 2021
Contributors: Giraffe Light Media (Cover)
Buy the Book: Amazon
Living rough and feral in the African bush. Running wild and free on the veldt. Elephants and giraffe for playmates. What more could a child want?
As a builder for the then-Rhodesian government, Dad's job was low-paying and demanding. We were sent to areas where there were few trappings of civilization, such as electricity or potable water. My siblings and I ran barefoot in the bush and swam in crocodile and parasite-infected rivers. We were never clean. We loved it. Our camps were spartan and makeshift, and scorpions, spiders, and snakes regularly invaded our space. There were no schools. I was home-schooled by Mom. Then, at age eight, my parents sent me to a religious boarding school; an institution ripped straight out of the pages of Dickens. It was there I discovered not all adults were kind or empathetic people.
In the bush, we were forced to create our own amusements--making our smash hit movie on a riverbank, or writing plays that we produced on a squeaky, portable 8-track tape recorder. We spent sultry nights playing poker in our caravan, reading books, and writing stories. My parents were artists and writers; creative, but not the most practical people. They made mistakes, and in 1963 a whopping blunder bankrupted us and forced our family back into the bush. This memoir will take the reader through my life from birth in 1950 to the abrupt end of my childhood in 1969. Tea, Scones, and Malaria is a story about my family's gypsy-like trek through the African bushveld. It is about loneliness, poverty, dysfunction, and tropical diseases. It is also the laugh-out-loud memoir of a child who finds ways to entertain herself and survive in a world that is the literal definition of wild.
How I survived it all, I will never know.