Not All Who Wander Are Lost …

Bonita Jewel, MFA
3 min readDec 2, 2021

Here’s a little bit of my back story …

The daughter of roving missionaries, my first memories were of India, where my parents lived for three years.

They had also lived in Germany, Italy, various parts of the United States, but that was before my time.

I was child number five (out of six) and came along only 16 months after my older sister. Lots of people thought we were twins.

In fact, I’ve been mistaken for each of my sisters at some point in time … once by my sister’s own son …

But back to my story:

My earliest memories include fainting from the heat after a morning beneath the Indian sun, getting sick on an overnight train ride with my dad, and enjoying the crisp saltiness of moong dal (every other snack, it seemed, was just too spicy).

My parents settled down in California’s San Joaquin Valley, where I lived from the age of five to 16. (I fainted from the heat there too, more than once.)

I also read hundreds of books, homeschooled alongside my five siblings, wrote some really bad poetry (all of which I burned on my parents’ grill when I was 12), and graduated from high school at 14.

I returned to India at 16 and called it home for nearly 12 years.

During that time, I worked with the Deaf in New Delhi, with college students in Pune, and was involved in ministry work and early childhood education in Bangalore.