Society Book Event: My Heart is in Africa

The Society Toronto once again put together an amazing book event.  The April 21, held at The Spoke Club, was very well attended.  This time, we move from Hollywood glamour to the poverty of Africa in Scott Griffin’s My Heart is in Africa.  In the 1990s, Mr. Griffin flew his single engine Cessna 180 from Canada and spent two years all over the continent, working with the Flying Doctors Service, a Nairobi-based organization which flies doctors and nurses to administer care in remote areas.

Not only did Mr. Griffin read from the book and answer questions, he also told us interesting stories.  One in particular he told us was about a young man from a very poor family who was attending a school for “exceptional children.”  These kids were hand picked, given an education and therefore an opportunity to succeed in life.  Tuition was, of course, free, but the alumni must in some way give back to the community.  This young man, who was still in high school at the time he met Mr. Griffin, told him that he’d like to go to McGill University to study computer sciences.  Mr. Griffin was pleasantly surprised that a kid like him knew of McGill and said that he’d help the boy with his application (though he wasn’t sure if the kid would get in).  The boy not only got in, but went on to be very successful, making a six figure salary in a technology company.  He has even put ten people through school! 

Mr. Griffin’s description of Africa was haunting.  The reminisce of colonialism  with its old British traditions at the Nairobi Club (where Mr. Griffin stayed) that people do not question, the isolation and its beauty have left me, and I’m sure many other people, wanting to know more.  Not only about the continent, but what we can do to help.  
 

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