Flint teen writes book about living in South Africa - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Flint teen writes book about living in South Africa

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FLINT (WJRT) - (05/15/14) - A Carman-Ainsworth student is back from a trip to study abroad.

Rani Richardson is a teen with a curious spirit and a passion for life.

"Living in South Africa" - a title put simply enough, for a book that means so much.

This American student's journey spills onto the 224 pages.

Rani's face lights up at the chance to talk about South Africa, and the five and a half months she spent there.

The book she sits behind now only recounts the first 30 days of her trip.

"It's written in diary form, each chapter is one day," she said.

A 17-year-old girl, allowing the world, to read her diary. Witty at times, but also thoughtful.

"People in the United States, literally, have asked me, did you have running water? Did you live a hut?" she said.

She's happy to correct their misconceptions. In her book, she writes about what South Africa is really like - to a girl looking for adventure.

"I knew that they had 11 national languages, but like when I got there, it was a culture shock because I didn't know that a lot of people don't even speak English," she said.

But she made friends at her new school, in the small town of Port Elizabeth.

"I was able to fit in and really enjoy the culture," she said.

She settled in with the first of two host families she would live with during her time abroad.

"I had my Sweet Sixteen while I was there and my host family threw me a party and we had a really big vanilla cake," she said.

Before embarking on the trip in July of 2012, Richardson, told ABC12 that she wanted to grow. When she returned in January of 2013, more than the calendar year had changed.

A culture, usually studied from the pages of a school book, had become real to this American teenager.

"I knew about apartheid, but it just didn't become real until I got there," she said.

Rani hopes to inspire other kids to embrace the unknown world with open arms.

"I've written books about the next five months of my journey, but we'll see how this one goes first," she said.

Rani also has a more traditional journey to focus on. - college. She's heading to the University of Pennsylvania this fall, and hopes to be a doctor someday.

You can purchase the book HERE
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