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Interview with author Brenda Smith

Updated: Aug 5, 2023


Eye Opener Press: What can you tell us about your first book?


Trafalgar Square stopover on the way to Tanzania, 1981

Brenda: When this trip took place in 1981, the world was such a different place. I was 28 years old and knew practically nothing about Africa. Back then, cell phones, the internet, and cable TV didn’t exist. Even land line telephone connections between the US and major cities in Africa were nearly impossible and exorbitantly costly if you could get one. But on this trip, we headed into the middle of the African wilderness, hundreds of miles from civilization, surrounded by thousands of wild elephants, lions, hippos and crocodiles.

Eye Opener Press: That sounds pretty dangerous. What made you want to go on this trip?


Brenda: Honestly, I didn’t want to go at all. My boss at Sobek Expeditions, Richard Bangs, decided that I should go on this trip. Since he would be a guide for one of our rafts, we could travel together. I’d only traveled outside the US to Canada on family vacations, and during my senior year of high school, to France with my French class. I liked Canada because it felt safe, like here in the US. But I hated being in France and was miserable the whole time. No, it terrified me to think of going to such a wild, dangerous place. I tried to dream up excuses not to go.


Eye Opener Press: But you went despite your fears?


Brenda: Reluctantly I did. I actually feared I might not survive. Sobek had never run a commercial trip through the Selous, so except for our trip leader, who had scouted the river two years earlier with friends, no one on the trip knew what to expect. Our trip would take us deep into unknown territory without a lifeline. If we were going to survive, we’d have to do it on our own.


Eye Opener Press: Tell us about the funny picture on this page.


Brenda: Sure. This picture taken by Richard, at our first layover stop in London, shows me feeding popcorn to the “wild“ life in Trafalgar Square. The pigeon perched on top of my head partially obscured the lion statue behind me. I couldn’t tell if that was a good or bad omen.


Eye Opener Press: I guess we’ll have to get your book to find out. Stay tuned for more information on when Brenda’s book will become available for purchase on Amazon. Check back on the website home page to learn more about Brenda’s Tanzanian adventure, and sunscribe to be notified of promotions when you can pick up a free Ebook of Becoming Fearless: Finding Courage in the African Wilderness.



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