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Missionaries, Mercenaries and Madmen-bookcover

By: J. Worth

Missionaries, Mercenaries and Madmen

Pages: 266 Ratings:
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“We’ll have to leave. This country has had it.” My husband made the decision and I followed along feeling like my heart was being ripped from my chest. Robert Mugabe switched the trigger that changed our lives. He announced that University in Zimbabwe would be for black people only. We were white Africans and so needed to find a place where our children would have educational options. Australia was the obvious choice. This memoir takes the reader on a journey to places most Australians have no idea exists in their own country. The isolated, remote locations where Aboriginal people live, not as their ancestors had done but propped up by government welfare. Wild places where hunting and gathering had become recreational rather than a way of life and where western culture, knowledge and values were imposed on ancient knowledge and ways of being. The confused, bastardised culture emerging felt like stepping into hell. The dregs of white society had gravitated north; economic refugees, criminals, drunks and druggies and God botherers all trying to survive in a melee of heat, dust, flies, mosquitoes, and topical downpours. We were not welcomed. This is where my story began.

Jean was born in South Africa and moved to what was Southern Rhodesia with her parents when she was two years old. Her upbringing was typical for all African children in that day and age. Her happiest times were when running wild and free in the Rhodesian bush. With wild animal encounters all part and parcel of daily life, Jean grew to love the African bush. Conservative values, Christian ethics and for Jean, the Catholic religion defined her world view. Growing up in a single parent household and as the eldest of four children, Jean learned responsibility at an early age. She developed an abundance of compassion for anyone less fortunate, suffering or needing help in some way. Showing kindness towards all, including one’s enemies, became Jean’s response to life.

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