Recently in my newsletter, author Jacquie Gauthier offered two copies of her memoir, The Gift of an Elephant, in our giveaway. I’m delighted to have her stop by the blog today to chat with us.
Jacquie is a Canadian now living in South Africa and she has a most interesting story to share. Like Kat, in The Promise of Provence, Jacquie had a major mid-life transition that took courage.
She’s a great example of how to be a possibilitarian and you know how I feel about that!
JG ~ I have always thought of myself as a true romantic, but I even surprised myself when Johann and I eloped! We met in January of 2010 in South Sudan. Johann, a South African paramedic was there on a U. N. contract locating the landmines that had been laid in the region during all the years of conflict there. I was visiting as part of the team from Canadian Aid for South Sudan. We only saw each other a total of four times, but we both knew we had made a very special connection. After 6 months of constant conversation via email, we needed to know if it was love, so I went to visit him in South Africa. On the fourth day of my visit, we were married in an intimate African ceremony in the bush!
PS ~ Of course, your memoir, The Gift of an Elephant, explains your journey in great detail. What prompted you to write a memoir? Had you ever written a book in the past?
JG ~ Almost every time someone heard our story, they would exclaim “Wow- you should write a book!” After getting that response so often, it occurred to me that maybe I had something of value to share. Our story seemed to resonate with so many people !
PS ~ I love following your photography on Instagram (@Jaxisclever) and seeing your FB posts about the wildlife that is part of your new world. What is your involvement with that?
JG ~ I want to share the love and appreciation I feel for all of these animals with as many people as I can because Africa needs the help of the entire world to protect them!
PS ~ Would you say writing, photography or painting is your greatest love?
JG ~ That is a difficult question! Writing was my first love. I am at my absolute happiest when I am out on a game drive taking photos, but then I get really excited at the prospect of turning those photos in to art pieces. I love playing with multiple images and creating modern art- or as we call it, African Art with Attitude. I am an absolute beginner when it comes to painting- that is definitely Alicia’s department. But I am excited about learning. And I recently had the privilege of working with respected Canadian artist Hendrikus Bervoets, the founder of Art for Aids International. We have done a series of collages using my photographs and they turned out beautifully!