As a young man I traveled to West Africa in search of my identity. I am a man of color, who was born in England. I visited West Africa in the mid-seventies before that area exploded into violence, and witnessed the displacement of its people. My adventure lasted 18 months, and covered the countries of Algeria, Mali, Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta), Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone. An adventure like this probably couldn’t happen today. The desert has encroached on the south, and poverty has forced the increased migration of peoples from the savannah areas to the coastal countries... The journey I went through represented a coming of age that tested my young manhood. The stories in this book are intended to open people’s eyes to the real Africa. It is my intention to present a story to you, my readers, that will offer you a visceral experience of being with me on the mammy wagons charging through the forests. To have you sitting by my side as we hurtle across the Savannah landscape. To have you feel the suffocating heat in the swamplands of Sierra Leone. To take you to the humanity of the people I encountered on this journey. In so doing, I hope you will connect to and strengthen your own humanity. And perhaps in a small way this story will make all who read it a little more open and human. Such is the first step for all of us in finding ourselves, and some peace in this world today.