MORNING SCRAMBLE (KAZ Phoenix): Interview (2) with Author Karen Baldwin (Ruby’s World)

http://www.revkarenbaldwin.com Nonfiction Book Recounts Author's Encounters with Secret Zulu Traditions - When Dreams Turn into Nightmares "I didn't choose Africa. Africa chose me," says Rev. Karen Baldwin, author of Ruby's World ... My Journey with the Zulu. "It was an experience that changed my life." (Taos, NM -- May 9, 2012) -- What started as a dream and a spiritual calling for Karen Baldwin, quickly moved to a nightmare in the Zulu region of South Africa as the secret traditions of the Zulu and the witch doctors changed her course and prompted an urgency to push her from the Dark Continent of Africa. Threatened for her survival, Baldwin's good intentions to teach the Zulu children continued to move her forward, even after her departure. She wrote a book of her journey with the Zulu and got her life back on track. "In Africa, the energy of the earth is alive," shared Baldwin. "The jungle is vibrant with life. The children are eager to learn and the women ready to step into the present day. Some traditions are deeply rooted in the past. But when we ask questions, we can learn rather than judge." Searching for purpose after surviving a heart attack and breast cancer, 52-year-old Karen Baldwin sets off alone for South Africa as the first white teacher in a rural Zulu elementary school. Her suitcases bursting with books and art supplies, Karen is greeted at the tiny airport by Ruby Ndlela of the Zinti School. Karen's African hosts seem eager to pursue their dreams of English proficiency and computer literacy for their "learners," but the Zulus' desire for westernization soon conflicts with strong tribal traditions. Karen's goodwill is stretched to the breaking point by encounters with infant scarification, female genital mutilation, and witch doctor dominance. Even worse, Ruby suddenly turns on Karen and she finds herself afraid for her life, trapped in a concrete room on a locked compound until she can make her escape.