So now most of the foundation had been laid. I had some characters, a loose outline for a plot, and a great location. My wife, whose support I will mention over and over, agreed I would leave my practice for a sabbatical to write the book. It was time to make it all happen. Soon I had my tickets to Tanzania, and the excitement was building every day.

The day before I was scheduled to leave, a potentially devastating event happened. I had bought a charter ticket with seven members of a family to keep costs down. My travel agent called, telling me that my travel mate’s mother had died. It looked like the trip was off. I spent the whole afternoon on the phone. She had the trip planned to accommodate eight people, and now there was only one. This was a major problem. After some pleading and then some arm-twisting, she relented and agreed to send the family’s deposit to her African partners. Unbelievably, the trip was on and I would go by myself.

My itinerary was set; I would fly from San Diego to New York City, New York to London, London to Abu Dabi, Abu Dabi to Bahrain, Bahrain to Nairobi, Nairobi to Arusha, Tanzania. The trip took 44 hours in total, and it was grueling, believe me. By the time I reached Tanzania, I didn’t know if it was day or night, I just knew I was in Africa and this adventure was about to kick into high gear!

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