Through Jade's Eyes

This blog is about the fictional character, Jade del Cameron (www.suzannearruda.com), and the historical time period in which she lives.

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Location: www.suzannearruda.com, United States

I'm the author of the Jade del Cameron historical mystery series set in 1920's Africa. Lots of action, intrigue, mystery and a dash of romance. Follow me at www.twitter.com/SuzanneArruda *The audio link (view complete profile) is an interview by Baron Ron Herron (9/17/2009, Santa Barbara {CA} News-Press Radio, KZSB, AM 1290

Monday, August 09, 2010

1921-22 – “GROWING UP IN NAIROBI – THE GIRL GUIDES”

This blog made the short list for Best Author's Blog as awarded by www.completelynovel.com Thank you everyone who voted for me.


By 1921, Nairobi was no longer a ‘wild west town’ of bachelor landowners and hunters. There was a thriving society and a large number of families. Sporting teams (cricket, football etc.) had “singles” teams and “marrieds” teams. So it comes as no surprise that, just as Jade’s friends, Beverly and Avery Dunbury and Madeline and Neville Thompson became parents, so did a lot of other Kenyans. Children’s society was a growing concern and in the upcoming book: THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE, Beverly has the foresight to plan ahead for her daughter by becoming the leader of a Nairobi company of Girl Guides.

The Girl Guide troop, precursors to our modern Girl Scouts, formed up early in January, 1921 in Nairobi. One of the first newspaper accounts of the troop is in The East African Standard, March 4, 1921 issue where it is reported that “On Saturday last, 50 Guides and Brownies proceeded to Kabete Farm.” Unfortunately, the rest of the text is too faint to read. The next report is seen on March 19, 1921 where “60 Girl Guides and Brownies were entertained at Government House by Lady Northey.” During this outing, they met Queen Victoria’s grandson, Lord Leopold Mountbatten, “who very kindly inspected the girls and remarked on their smart appearance.” The girls had tea followed by Lady Northey personally giving them a tour of the grounds and “explaining interesting facts about the numerous animals” including a hyena that had broken its leg which had been set by a veterinary doctor. The girls gave “three hearty cheers” to Lady Northey in appreciation of the “two hours of happiness she had afforded them.”

The Leader of British East Africa gave a report of the troop’s first year in the December 31, 1921 issue. Due to ink stains on the copy, it isn’t possible to give the actual number of girls involved, but it looks as if there were 50 or 56 girls including the Brownies. “Meetings have been held once a week on Government House grounds” and “once a week at Head Quarters where the senior girls have received instruction from the captain.” "Before being able to win a Proficiency Badge, three examinations have to be passed.” At the end of the first year, these were the awards given: 24 Ambulance, 20 Sportswoman, 4 Horsewoman, 4 Musician, 2 Entertainers, 4 Thrift Badges. Prizes were also given for “best collection of leaves, wildflowers, grasses, ferns, and butterflies.”

Readers of the Jade del Cameron mystery series will wonder just what sort of leaders Beverly and Jade would make and what sorts of skills would they teach the girls. You can find out in THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE (Sept 7, 2010). (quotes taken from the aforementioned newspapers. Headline image from the East African Standard, Marc 4, 1921.)

NEXT WEEK: MORE ON THE GIRL GUIDES

By the way, The Crocodile’s Last Embrace just received a starred review by Publishers’ Weekly who called it “rip-roaring.” Romantic Times gave it 4 Stars and called it “Enormously fun.”

MORE MYSTERY TOPICS:
1) Does mystery have to equal murder? I weigh in with the Suspense Sirens on their blog posting at : http://bit.ly/cpprpx

2) Interested in some insight into what makes me and Jade tick? Go to SCENE OF THE CRIME http://bit.ly/ao2gjg for an interesting interview at a great website by author J. Sydney Jones.

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE will be released Sept. 7, 2010. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

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