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“Life is lived in the little things.”
—Marilyn Beckwith

In the early 1970s, after a year of unemployment, Marilyn Beckwith was in desperate need for change in her life. With her characteristic joie de vivre, she started a new life on a new continent—and didn’t look back. In 1971, she and her husband moved to Africa with their four children, armed with not much more than a penchant for adventure and a sense of humor.

They started their African adventures in Kenya, and they tried life in Zaire (now Congo). Marilyn was called to build a home for her family on the local economy, unsupported by any embassy or company. While steadfastly holding on to her values, she faced a steep learning curve in adjusting to the African rhythms of life. She gamely coped with challenges, from the mundane to the miraculous, including bridging food shortages, navigating the fringes of diplomatic life, outsmarting a mischievous chimpanzee, and adapting to new languages:

“Madame, you speak French like a Zairean.”
“Oh, thank you."
“Madame, that was not a compliment!”

Journey with this American mother as she discovers that everyday life can become extraordinarily entertaining when circumstances are unusual.

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