Memoir Recounts Author’s Encounters with Secretive Zulu Traditions - When Dreams Turn into Nightmares
“I didn’t choose Africa. Africa chose me,” says Karen Baldwin, author of Ruby’s World, My Journey with the Zulu. “It was an experience that changed my life.”
(Taos, NM – May 8, 2012) – What started as a dream and a spiritual calling for Karen Baldwin, quickly turned into a nightmare in the Zulu region of South Africa as the obscure traditions of the Zulu tribal chiefs and witch doctors threatened her survival and prompted her expulsion from the dark continent of Africa. Baldwin’s good intentions continue to move her forward, even after her departure. She has written a book about her journey with the Zulu and altered the course of her life to continue to find ways to help the Zulu women and children.
“In Africa, the energy of the earth is vibrant,” shared Baldwin. “Animal life is abundant. The children are eager to learn and the women are anxious to step into a western life-style. Many traditions are deeply rooted in the past, but when we ask questions, we can learn rather than judge.”
About the Book
Searching for purpose after surviving a heart attack and breast cancer, 52-year-old Karen Baldwin set 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 was greeted at the tiny airport by Ruby Ndlela of the Zinti School.
Karen’s African hosts seemed eager to pursue their dreams of English proficiency and computer literacy for their “learners,” but the Zulus’ desire for westernization soon conflicted with strong tribal traditions. Karen’s goodwill was stretched to the breaking point by encounters with infant scarification, female genital mutilation, and witch doctor dominance. Even worse, Ruby suddenly turned on Karen and she found herself afraid for her life, trapped in a concrete room on a locked compound until she could make her escape.
“I hope every reader comes away from Ruby’s World, as I did, with deeper self-awareness and an inquisitive heart,” said Baldwin.
Rave Reviews of Ruby’s World, My Journey with the Zulu
- “Baldwin’s masterful memoir reads like a suspense thriller.” New Mexico journalist and photographer Phaedra Greenwood
- “Ruby’s World is … an extraordinary story, beautifully told … honest, moving, frequently funny, sometimes startling, and always compelling. It carries the reader along every twist and turn with remarkable clarity and grace.” Award-winning author Sean Murphy
- “Gripping, honest, and illusion-shattering.” Nancy Schluntz
- “Great book about survival in Africa. Well written and spell binding.” Christopher L Ellis
- “I think my heart stopped beating a couple of times toward the end of the book. Kitchen Maven
- “A peak behind the curtain at what really goes in other cultures.” Tara Lumpkin
- “Baldwin does not pull away from asking difficult questions of others as well as herself. Miriam Moussaioff
- “Ruby's World reminded me that in learning about different people, one learns even more about his or herself.” KMB
RUBY’S WORLD – My Journey with the Zulu
The Apocryphile Press; Berkeley, California; 370 pages
Distributed through Ingram Book Company.
About the Author
In mid-life, Karen Baldwin turned her back on a successful career in civil engineering to focus on her lifelong desire to serve the needs of women and children. She graduated from the Chaplaincy Institute for Arts and Interfaith Ministry and earned a certificate in Spiritual Psychology through the West Coast Kabbalah School. Prior to leaving California, she worked as a hospital chaplain with Kaiser Permanente, specializing in neo-natal intensive care. Today, she lives in Taos, New Mexico. She presents workshops nationally on the power of dreams as a compass for life and maintains a spiritual direction practice.
Ms. Baldwin is available for guest lectures, readings, and interviews. Website: www.RevKarenBaldwin.com
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