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  • Writer's pictureAmai Palmer

The Adventures My Book Takes Me On

Writing a book can open unexpected doors!

My latest adventure took me to Zimbabwe, the country the book is based in. When my nephew invited me to his wedding in a Wildlife reserve in South Africa, it triggered a series of events. I said to my daughter, “If we are going that far we could go back to Zimbabwe. We could visit Bally Vaughan Bird and Game Sanctuary in person!” (Bally Vaughan will be supported by my book sales.) Much efficient planning and booking of flights was accomplished by Rachel, and off we flew. Our journey entailed climbing on an airplane nine times, with two little people in tow.

There are many aspects of Zimbabwe that I appreciate. The three that stood out were the beautiful trees, the wonderful wildlife, and the hospitable people. It was a delight to catch up with old friends and family. In the three days I had in Harare I celebrated an early Christmas with extended family, tried to organise the printing of my book, and even got to attend the funeral of a dear friend. I caught up with numerous old friends who had farmed in the same farming district as us, all attending the funeral.

The word got out about the book and people were eager to buy it. I intend to get it printed in Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans to buy without exorbitant postage fees. The printing company I had been in conversation with let me down at the last moment, as their drum wasn’t wide enough. I will continue to work remotely to get it printed.

My dream was fulfilled. I had the privilege of holding a book promotion at Bally Vaughan Bird and Game Sanctuary on the 20th of December. The Putterill family was exceptionally hospitable. We enjoyed beautiful accommodation and delicious meals at Mwanga Lodge (check it out at  The promotion was held in the stunning thatched restaurant of the animal sanctuary. I thank all those who attended. Afterward, we took the opportunity to visit the animals in the enclosures. I stroked a serval cat who came to be there because his leg was broken by a car. The marmosets jumped all over us, curious to find out who we were, and having an owl sit on my shoulder took me back to when my mother and father cared for one.

The Adventures My Book Takes Me On
The Adventures My Book Takes Me On

Following this we took a drive in the game park. Some of the animals we saw included zebra, ostrich, Impala, 2 zonkeys, and a herd of wildebeest including a baby with its umbilical cord still attached.

I appreciate the description Debbie posted on the Bally Vaughan Animal Sanctuary Facebook page.

“We were privileged to host the book promotion of author Jane Palmer’s lovely children’s book, featuring the incredible historic wildlife rescue dubbed ‘Operation Noah’ (from 1958 – 1964) That took place when the giant Kariba dam’s water flooded the huge area, now inundated by this enormous man-made lake. An incredible ‘Feather in the Cap’ of Zimbabwe’s conservation history.”

 She goes on to say, “Jane has a direct connection to the great animal rescue operation as her father Frank Junor, was one of the core individuals who worked to save thousands of wild animals from drowning. Much of the book features material from Frank’s diaries and cine footage. Some of the proceeds of the sales of the book will go towards wildlife conservation work being done here at Bally Vaughan, thank you, Jane!”

Debbie and I went to school and teacher’s college together. We are both passionate educators and wildlife conservationists, who constantly marvel at the unending wonder of God’s creation. We are motivated to inspire the next generation with love, appreciation, and respect for our wildlife. I hope this book will contribute to achieving this.

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