I am asking for help.
In writing my first novel, multiple dreams have converged. I dream of communities that do not need to depend so strongly on tourism to sustain themselves financially. I dream of a world that understands people and places whom I love in a way that goes deeper than headlines. I dream of setting a higher standard for outsiders (particularly white ones) who want to tell local (particularly non-white) stories. These dreams lay dormant in my mind until I committed to writing this novel. Then, they awoke. They began as feelings, evolved into questions, and are now possibilities.I am asking for help to realize these possibilities. I feel that a culturally rich and beautiful community should not have to sell itself to tourists to survive, and I wonder how that might happen. I posit that I can help. I can share stories in return for funds, and I can share these funds with that beautiful community. Shared stories become shared wealth become shared prosperity and more living stories: a cycle less vicious and more radically loving. The love within curiosity–wanderlust of a tourist’s heart–can benefit Zanzibar through me without the scuff marks that come from a tourist’s feet.
In asking for something, it is good to give something in return. Therefore, I offer something to those willing to share a piece of their wealth toward this dream.
As explained on the Indiegogo campaign page, anyone who gives at least $29 will receive a personalized copy of the book when it is printed. And now, anyone who gives at least $45 will receive the first chapter for their reading pleasure–yes, before it is even published. The people of Zanzibar made themselves vulnerable to me and shared their stories. Now, I make myself vulnerable to you. Will you kindly accept this story?