If “retirement” means spending your days playing bridge or watching the flowers grow, the word isn’t in Elaine Brant’s vocabulary. Now 83, Brant recently returned from her fifth trip to Tanzania, where she was teaching counseling methods at a university.
When she’s at home, this diaconal minister and 35-year member of Beaver Lake Lutheran Church
, Maplewood, Minn., serves as a chaplain for a home health-care program. Also a licensed psychologist, she volunteers with the American Red Cross and has worked with survivors of natural disasters as well as the Sept. 11 attacks.
Brant’s first trip to Tanzania was in 1975, when she was selected from applicants to lead a two-week writer’s workshop. She’s visited many other countries as well, as illustrated by things like the Russian matryska dolls, Ukranian eggs, Indian plates, German steins, Danish egg cups and the vial of water from the Sea of Galilee that adorn her home.
This curiosity about the world began, she said, in a country school near Lyons, Neb. A book of the world’s children, with its black-and-white photos of youngsters who didn’t look like her, “opened up the world to me,” she said. “I just never dreamed as a little girl that I would get to visit those places.”
The rest of this article is only available to subscribers.