Friday, November 8, 2013

You've been warned - "The Beast" is coming!

What is The Beast?

On the morning of September 30th, 2013, I stood at the bus stop at LaGanga, Tanzania awaiting my transportation to arrive. My young friend, MeHost, did the best he could at taking my mind off of my anxieties by engaging me in a bit of small talk as we waited, but honestly he mostly just seemed to be happy that it was me who was going to be boarding soon and not he. My intent was to do site visits of two possible locations for the next preschools that the organization I founded, Brick by Brick for Tanzania!, Inc., was planning to build in Africa. Unfortunately they were in far off Morogoro and only one way to get there... on an extremely crowded bus.

Filled with trepidation at the eight hour ride looming before me, my mind filled with visions of every stereotypical African bus scene I had ever seen in movies, which I was later to discover, didn't even begin to depict the intense sensory overload of the reality. When the bus at last lumbered into the bus stop - squeaking its brakes and fuming furiously from its tailpipe - I said a quick good-bye to MeHost and boarded the bus carrying only a small knapsack with a change of shirt, some tin-foil wrapped samosas and an empty notebook.

It was this notebook that proved to be my balm...

Aboard the bus, hour after excruciating hour, I scribbled out my thoughts. I wrote not only of what was happening real-time on (and off) the bus, but also of my myriad experiences in the past in Tanzania, the influences who had helped shape that incredible journey, and of course the children. Oh, yes, the children!

The result of those frantic scribblings was a free-association ramble that ultimately formed the basis for a small book called "The Beast" which will be published Thanksgiving weekend. It is not pretty, but it is earnest and heartfelt. And it is of my voice.

"The Beast" will be available on, and at a bookstore near you!

Don't say I didn't warn you!

- John D. Kenworthy

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