As I approach my 50th birthday, I am grateful for my adventures in Africa, especially in Tanzania. The most special of these trips have been the ones that I experienced with my three kids. Watching the wonder in their eyes as we explore this incredible continent, , has made it all the more special.
In 2020, I introduced “Guion The Lion,” a children’s book that encourages kids to be open-minded and accepting of differences. Little did I know that our trip to Tanzania in December 2022 would inspire a new chapter for my book.
During our December trip, Promise and Paul, our safari guides, formed a wonderful connection with our whole family, but especially Guion. I always bring a few copies of my book whereever I go and shared “Guion The Lion” with them. They immediately connected with the story, its message, and Guion. Incredibly a few months later, Promise sent me a song he’d written called “Guion The Lion” that incorporates both English and Swahili – he even had my niece, Wilson, sing as well just like our original song. Yes, there were tears! It was such a meaningful and thoughtful gift that I knew I had to reciprocate; I decided to translate our book into Swahili.
Fast forward to September 2023, when I climbed Kilimanjaro with friends. I brought along this special load of Swahili “Guion The Lion” books to share. At the beginning of our trip, I returned to Shanga, a social enterprise that employs people with disabilities who create beautiful crafts (my house is full of them now). Their mission of inclusion deeply resonated with me and it was important to share “Guion The Lion” with these artisans. Their smiles and hugs Were the best rewards.
My love for Tanzania spans over two decades, and it’s a testament to how travel, connections, and stories can spread the values of inclusivity and compassion. Africa, particularly Tanzania, holds a special place in my heart, and I’m excited to see the positive impact of “Guion The Lion” in this remarkable part of the world. I’m grateful for all that Tanzania has given me over the years, and I’m glad I can give a little something back!