Archive for the ‘Travel Tales’ Category

Black History Month: Herberta Smith

Monday, February 17th, 2020

As this is posting, I have the privilege and pleasure of reading, typing, and editing Herberta Smith’s memoir, SEND ME!, about her six plus years in Uganda as a medical missionary when she was in her sixties. With her permission, I am posting the Preface of her book and will let you know when the book is finished and on Amazon.

Her stories are wonderful and her enthusiasm not “to take these stories to her grave,” as she announced when I met her at a Meet & Greet the authors in October of last year, gives her the drive to write and publish in her 86th year. What better way to celebrate Black History Month than to find and feature someone I know whose stories represent a wonderful volunteer effort in Uganda to help people in need of medical care?


Herberta Smith (nickname Bert)

“Bert” is holding the notebook with her book draft with a map of Africa on the cover that I found on the Internet.


God uses ordinary people to create miracles and do extraordinary things.

The year was 1999. I was completing my final assignment, a total of six and one half years between the years 1989 and 2000. We held a clinic in the living room and veranda of a gracious family. They knew the villagers were suffering and responded with a “yes” when the village chief asked is we could use their home as a facility. After the clinic ended, I was standing on the front lawn, waiting for the call for lunch.

I looked up at the clear, blue sky and spoke to my Heavenly Father, asking why I had worked all alone these many years. Without hesitation, the Holy Spirit spoke to me:

“I want you to go home and write about your experiences, and to encourage others to come into the interior of developing countries.”

We had medical ships coming periodically to the coastal areas of some African countries, providing much-needed surgery and medical care. Unfortunately, residents in the interior cannot walk the 10 to 20 miles to reach a ship in the harbor. At times, when these villages make the difficult journey of two to three days to the ship, the overcrowding forces these villagers away, because the medical professionals are unable to see everyone needing care. One way to stop this heartbreaking experience is to develop programs with teams of doctors and nurses coming to the bush country and villages to administer to the ill.

Again, the holy spirit said to me, “Christ has commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Write and tell the world what you have seen and done. I will provide for anyone that follows you.”

I thought, we can put up military type hospitals and barracks to house the medical team. Sounds like fun! Like Martin Luthier King, I, too, have a dream that one day, every child worldwide will be able to drink clean, safe water and they and their families will have adequate health care in their communities, provided by trained expatriates, including nurses like myself.

I hope this book of true stories will inspire you, the reader, to embrace my dream and make a difference in the health of the lives of those in need, especially those who live in the interior of Africa.

by Herberta Smith


Early Autumn: Nova Scotia (Sept. 10th-19th): Lighthouses, Laundry, and Lakes

Monday, September 23rd, 2019

Just back from a lovely first time visit to Nova Scotia, Canada, where the weather was cooler and wetter, with barely the beginning of leaf-changing trees. (I don’t have any photos of the changing trees that we saw while driving on the highway back to Halifax, because we could not stop easily.)


The map line encloses Cape Breton Island, which is part of Nova Scotia and accessed by a rather narrow causeway, which indicates to me that the island was once a peninsula.

Not sure if some of the much cooler weather was due to the “hit” that Hurricane Dorian made on Nova Scotia or the weather was typical for September, but we did see tree branches hanging over telephone wires, and whole trees toppled on one of the beaches we walked.


We also saw many lighthouses, laundry, and lakes or other waterways that led out to the St. Lawrence River and eventually  to the Atlantic Ocean.

Below are photos of Peggy’s Cove, which is only about one hour from Halifax and a very big tourist stop. Unfortunately, the day we went was cold, wet, and windy, so we stayed less than 30 minutes, long enough to admire the rocks and the lighthouse. As you can see, the day was gray, but the rocks were glorious!  Here I am right opposite the lighthouse, with the wind whipping at my raincoat, the lighthouse itself, and the surrounding rock formations.

I was also able to capture some laundry on Cape Breton and the outskirts of Halifax, but because the weather was often damp and rainy, I have only a few photos. The first one below is indicative of the windy days we experienced near the water, but the other two I took were on sunny days.


I will be posting some additional pictures and comments in the next few days, but I leave you with two: one that I took because this lonely dandelion seems to be a brave soul surviving in the wind and cold of Cape Breton, much like I think the people of the area are, since the winters are long and cold, with many people escaping to points south, like my friend Sylvia, a native of Cape Breton. (We met many years ago when we both lived in State College.) She spends winters SCUBA diving on the west coast of Florida and summers in Dartmouth, less than a 10-minute ferry ride across the bay from Halifax. (She sent us many tips about our trip.) Here we are on the ferry as we were docking. I am wearing a sweater over a sweater and my vest and a warm hat that I brought with me, just in case!


On the ferry boat between Dartmouth and Halifax with my Cape Breton-born friend Sylvia.


More soon! In the meantime, happy first day of Autumn. I hope to take some colorful leaf-laden trees from my neighborhood as fall fills the air!