Safari for the Soul
The writer of Safari for the Soul, Jan Boal, an ordinary woman with a normal job (psychiatric nurse) decides to take some time off of her normal life, and take a combined spiritual journey as well as a journey that helps some of the endangered species around the world. Her childhood background for such undertaking helped, as her family had a long history of alternative spiritual beliefs. Besides, she was inspired by Native American spiritual beliefs from early age on. Most people just dream about such major undertaking, but not Boal—both The Universe and her imaginary inner twin, Gem, whispered to her encouragingly. She planned and researched her trip over many months, a single woman traveling by herself, choosing areas where her volunteer services would be most useful, and where her spiritual journey would also benefit.
This book is part autobiography and part travelogue—and it is a fascinating travelogue that reads very well (Boal is an excellent writer). Once you start on a chapter, it’s hard to stop. Among other places, she spent some time in a remote part of the Brazilian jungle helping Jaguar research, in Greece, bottle nose dolphins, in Uganda, gorillas, and still had time to divert when Joplin, Missouri was devastated by a monster tornado to volunteer her help in the cleanup efforts. She even describes her wonderful romantic relationship with a young Brazilian Indian tourist guide (who, as the consequence, lost his job). She stayed in eco camps whenever possible, and worked for such organizations as Earthwatch. Yet she also found time to be a tourist, spending some twenty-six hours on buses to visit the famed Iguaçu Falls in Brazil. Whatever she did, she first listened for guidance and followed the answers she received from The Universe.
This is a set of notable spiritual/travelogue stories by an extraordinary woman and a worthwhile reading. She included ten smallish and not very good photos—many more photos would’ve further improved the book.