People meeting by chance who happen to be from the same city is interesting but not all that uncommon. Two people meeting who spent time in the same tribal area along the Niger River in West Africa is certainly a bit of a coincidence though.
That’s exactly what happened to Aylette Jenness, author and long-time SabbaticalHomes.com member, when she leased her Cambridge, MA apartment last year. In her discussions in getting to know her tenant, she learned he had lived in Nigeria, in the same general region that her family had. Aylette and her family were there for three years, and she worked on her writing and photography, capturing the African way of life. This led to her third published children’s book, Along the Niger River- An African Way of Life.
Both families, not knowing each other then, returned to their lives in the United States, only to find one another by chance through SabbaticalHomes.com.
“The people who use SabbaticalHomes.com are so simpåtico. I always meet interesting people but this was such a wonderful connection,” said Jenness. “My tenant was about the same age as a boy living there that my own son had been.”
This encounter was the beginning of a happy friendship between Aylette and her tenant-family. She later learned that the tenant’s mother was also an author of children’s books, and had worked in the field of photography as well. In fact, when Aylette needed to return to Cambridge, yet her tenant’s young daughter still had two weeks of school left, the group decided to be housemates and now, of course, are lifelong friends.
Her latest tenant is no exception. Again, through SabbaticalHomes.com, she has rented her apartment to a family and they have become friends. They are new to the Massachusetts area and are delighted to live in her Cambridge home but all are already planning on joining her at her winter home in Cape Cod for a weekend soon. “They have never been out to Cape Cod and we get along so well, it was very natural to invite them to stay with me.”
Currently, she is hard at work on her first adult book, a photographic memoire of her time in Nigeria during the Nigerian civil war. Aylette is an accomplished author of 13 children’s books, many of which have been used in classrooms across the United States. Her last children’s book, All About You—An Adventure in Self Discovery, is on display in the Boston Children’s Museum.