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Diving headfirst into Africa
“All of the apparent accidents and mysterious coincidences that led me, an ordinary Australian girl, to a life in Africa happened for a good reason. I’m not sure what that is, but perhaps part of the reason is to tell this story.”
Aged fifteen, Tammie Matson traveled to Zimbabwe with her father. That journey changed her forever. On her return to Australia, Tammie turned her life upside-down in order to find a way to build a future for herself in Africa.
During her next visit, a year spent in Zimbabwe, Tammie played with a semi-tame cheetah, got taught the meaning of respect by elephants, dealt with poachers, saw a witchdoctor strike fear into his victims’ hearts and took on a class of students—many twice her age—without a day’s training.
After being held at gunpoint by the war veterans in her friends’ home in Zimbabwe, Tammie moved north to Namibia and settled in Etosha National Park, where she has worked as a researcher from 2000. In that harsh, dry, devastatingly beautiful land, Tammie braved the language barrier, the male-dominated society, and the physical hardships to create a life for herself. Hodder Headline, 2005