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I decided to sell my 1961 Cadillac. I posted it on a Yahoo message board and received a call from an interesting gentleman named Lord Richard Mannying. After emailing back and forth he claimed to be a former British Ambassador to South Africa and had many business ties to South Africa. After explaining to him my love for Africa and hopes to move there someday we began a friendship and possible business partnership.

After months of emails we decided to use my expertise in Computer Networking and his money and connections in Africa and start an Internet Service Provider in Southern Africa. I spent months designing a dial up system and we made multiple trips to South Africa to set up the business. I could tell by the people he knew in South Africa he was a bit eccentric but chose to ignore my gut feeling because I wanted to move there so much.

It was a hard decision to leave my stable career and move to a third world country but I was lured by the unknown and longed to be back in Africa. My manager at Tandy told me “You will never regret going but will always regret not going” so I went.

Needless to say after months of promises and no money coming forth and my partner simply not showing up in South Africa, I decided to move on. It was a very discouraging situation because I had to clean up all the mess and deal with the promises we made for leasing offices, buying equipment, phone systems etc.

Well, I was in Africa, jobless and homeless so I sent out my resume and found gainful employment as a LAN tech again for a great company called ADVetech in Johannesburg. I worked part time at a camping and hiking store called ME stores as well.

Advetech sent me all over the country installing software on government computers. Here I was without even a work visa having access to top government computer systems, installing software in large prisons and schools. I was able to meet a lot of interesting people (some who I remain friends with to this day) and tour the country learning the ins and outs of their government system.

The writing was on the wall however. I realized that I wasn’t making enough money to gain South African citizenship and what future did I really have? I was able to explore the whole of Southern Africa and felt it was time to leave. So I packed up over 400 collected artifacts, sold my old Land Rover and caught a flight (via Cairo of course) back home.

Little did I know that leaving South Africa saved my life. Within a year of returning to the United States I was diagnosed with Testicular cancer that had spread. I was in for the battle of my life, for my life. I surely would have died if I remained in Africa.

 

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