Author Stories Podcast Episode 736 | Gayle Woodson Interview
Today’s author interview guest is Gayle Woodson, author of After Kilimanjaro.
Dr. Sarah Whitaker has always been an obedient overachiever, but she is burned out. Training to be a surgeon is stressful. So when her fiancé, David, offers a solution―take a break year at a hospital in Africa and climb Mount Kilimanjaro together―she jumps on board. When he backs out, she embarks on the adventure alone.
Sarah quickly falls in love with Tanzania, a land of gentle people, exotic wildlife, and stunning natural beauty, from the sands of Zanzibar to the peaks of Kilimanjaro. She also develops great respect for new Tanzanian friends: strong African women who strive to serve an overwhelming need for health care. Shocked by the high rate of maternal mortality and the scourge of female genital mutilation in the country, Sarah begins to speak out against FGM and develops an experimental program to train tribal birth attendants in a remote mountain village. Conditions are primitive there, and life is fragile. The separation takes its toll on her relationship with David, and she fights against feelings for another man. As the months pass, one thing becomes clear: if Sarah survives this year, her life will never be the same again.
Dr. Gayle Woodson is a world-renowned throat surgeon. As one of the first few women to be trained in the Johns Hopkins Surgical program, she began her career at a time when female surgeons were regarded as oddities. She has lectured on six continents and done medical outreach in Central America, the Middle East, and Africa. Recently semi-retired, she now divides her time between homes in Florida, Newfoundland, and Tanzania with her husband. They have four children, four grandchildren, and a Springer spaniel.