I grew up in a small town just outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. My dad was one of the town doctors and was just like Marcus Welby, M.D. Our lifestyle was very colonial and we grew up play sports and learning all about the African bush and African wild life. I had a wonderful African nanny Mabel, who instilled in me a deep love of my country and the spirit of Africa.
She shared the dream of many that South Africa would be the land for all races and we could all live in harmony. This is when I learned the philosophy of “Ubuntu” and adopted it as my life’s goal. “To treat all around you with value and always know that I am what I am because of who we all are. Without one another we would be nothing.” We are all interconnected.
I had a catholic school education where one obeyed and followed rules. I went to boarding school as most of us did to get a good education and it wasn’t Hogwarts. South Africa was under the oppression of Apartheid where rules were tantamount. I excelled in sports and played on all the teams and captained most. I played field hockey for my State for three years and I was head girl. I went on to nursing school and was student body organizer and organize I did with all my friends being roped in … familiar story. Life’s pattern! I even organized a huge fundraiser with celebrity golfers. Gary Player was our main guest. The experiences were endless.
Like most Colonial young, I went to Europe and England with my friends, set up house in London, worked to make enough to travel for weeks hitchhiking everywhere. I met my American husband who chased me for a year as he knew I was The One but all I wanted was a two-year gallivant. Thank God he did as he has been the most amazing mate for 50 years. We have three awesome daughters who in turn married and they produced 7 delightful and spirited kids and we all live a happy and fulfilling life as good friends.
We moved 18 times, mostly for my husband’s promotions and opportunities but a few hair-brained ideas and have settled in Temecula, California. I do believe we are the sum total of our life’s experiences and my life has been filled to the brim. What we do with our lives, how we fill our days and our minds, who we choose to hang out with, the choices we make, all make who we are. It is also not always what happens to us in life but how we deal with it that determines the path of the rest of our lives.I was in a horse-riding accident at 10 with my brother of 13 and this altered the path of the rest of his life and he has been a shining example of making a life of joy and fulfillment with what he had. My parents and younger brother all died of cancer and this and all of who I am has shaped me into who I am now. “My Book” will share it all.
I worked as an RN for 40 years and many times more than one job at a time and most nights to avoid child care. All my jobs in all those moves were experiences in themselves. We love to travel and I nearly always do it on a shoestring, catching back-packer busses and staying in hostels. Many of those stories on my travel blog. I have never satisfied my appetite for adventure and travel despite my wide array of experiences throughout my 65 years. I have traveled through 46 countries and all but a few U.S. States, much of it backpacking. I have a bucket list and hiking Maccu Picchu is top of that list before I am 90!
I was bitten by the bug of Survivor when I saw the very first show and felt driven to play and always felt I was a perfect fit with all my experiences to date. I was a perfect fit for the game. During eight years I applied 15 times, went to two open calls and had three interviews offered give other TV shows and never gave up . She always believed she would one day be selected and was for Gabon. Season 17 of Survivor at the age of 61 being only one of nine over 60 to play and the only South African to play. I took my spirit of Ubuntu into my game and what was I thinking! This was Survivor but it was Africa. That was the beginning of a whole new life of amazing opportunities and experiences. One day when you read “My Book” you will read how all of my life experiences prepared me for Survivor and beyond and following rules was partly my downfall! My Survivor tid bits are in my Survivor blog but the full story will be in “My Book” when we are released from our $5 million dollar zip on the lip three years after Survivor ends! Don’t hold your breath, it may go on until I am 90 and then who knows what I will remember. It is however all written and ready to roll so my great grandkids could get it published.
Until then read What I do and enjoy and be apart of my life’s experiences from here on.