Saturday, October 20, 2018

A Meeting With a Fellow Writer

On October 13, I participated in the Deep Valley Book Festival in Mankato, Minnesota. This was my fourth experience in this annual event. I knew, in advance, that one of the writers who was going to be there was my friend Becky Fjelland Brooks.

Becky teaches at South Central College in Mankato. We first met when she and Professor Scott Fee of the Minnesota State University Mankato invited me to talk to students they were preparing for a study trip to South Africa, as part of their orientation.

Many people attended my talk on cultural differences and subsequently got copies of my book, Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences. I was invited in subsequent years to speak to other groups of students going on the South Africa program.

Becky and Scott are among the Americans who like Africa and strive to educate others about it, in different ways, including study trips. Challenging as this work is, it is invaluable, in terms of promoting mutual understanding in the world.

Becky is a gifted writer, who has already published a number of books, for children, youths and adults. Her work continues to gain attention and appreciation, as is exemplified by the Midwest Book Awards. I am humbled that this gifted writer greatly likes my work, as she says here and here.

Since I knew that Becky was going to be at the October 13 Deep Valley Book Festival, I brought with me my copy of Slider's Son which I had bought a few months before, for her to sign. I have her other books, signed by her in the past. We were happy to meet again, and Becky posted the photo above on Facebook with the following message: "With my dear friend Joseph Mbele, author of the enlightening and humorous book, "Africans and Americans," sharing stories and friendship at the Deep Valley Book Festival today...."

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