Editor’s Note: Longtime WorldNetDaily contributor Anthony C. LoBaido recently published his life story. It is entitled “Carina.”
ISLA MONTECRISTO, El Salvador – Imagine a special love that filled your heart, mind and soul with ultimate joy and happiness. Then imagine losing that love in the most heartbreaking way possible. Finally, imagine holding on to that love though lost like the dust of a hot prairie wind.
On Valentine’s Day of 1995 I met the love of my life – a beautiful blonde South African Boeremeisie or “farm girl” named Carina. (Picture Heather Graham or a blonde Angie Harmon.) Then we separated as star-crossed lovers, each carrying a broken heart.
The years that ensued are a story filled with both reckless and calculated risk, inertia and adventure, trials and victory, sorrow and joy, ruthlessness and mercy, fear and courage, poverty and riches, solitude and fame as well as despair and hope. It was (and remains) a thrilling journey to the four corners of the Earth as I worked as a journalist, photographer and teacher.
Journey with me and enter the strange, magical paradise of the “The Beach” at Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand. Unearth the secrets of Cambodia’s haunted Killing Fields and Angkor Wat. Tour the ancient Roman ruins of Baalbeck in Lebanon. Search for the biblical Noah’s Ark in Turkey and the Abominable Snowman in Nepal’s snowy Himalayas. Expose the diabolical enemy residing just beyond the Korean DMZ. Follow “the real Lawrence of Arabia” through Jordan. Explore Belize’s idyllic “Temptation Island.” See the toucan’s bill and hear the jaguar’s call at the Mayan city of Tikal in Guatemala.
Adorn your face with camouflage paint for the British army’s jungle warfare training regimen in Central America. Deploy in the jungles of Laos to complete Operation White Star with the far away help of the heroic Col. Carl Bernard of the U.S. Army’s Special Forces – the man who began White Star in the early 1960s.
Trek 176 miles across the entire length of England through the greatest heat wave in the history of Europe to put up yellow ribbons for the ever-growing multitude of murdered South African farmers. Organize Christmas presents for injured GIs recovering at the burn unit of the Brooke Army Medical Hospital in Texas.
Discover “The Maze” and The Delicate Arch of the Utah Badlands. Climb the world’s highest sand dunes at Sossusvlei, Namibia. Sit in a double rainbow atop Victoria Falls in Zambia. Photograph immense herds of elephants and their baby calves along the Chobe River in Botswana.
Along the way you’ll meet the most amazing cast of characters. From Austria to Australia they’re real life people so good and kind and decent you can’t help but stand up and cheer for them.
You’ll also encounter an especially cheeky African wild kitten, a host of abandoned puppies, baby koalas and a pair of five-week old lion cubs waiting to be fed with a milk bottle.
You’ll sail through tropical storms on the South China Sea, fly into an approaching hurricane in a Gazelle army helicopter, detonate plastic explosives, rub shoulders with the world’s most notorious mercenaries, “sleep” in a tiny hut during a typhoon, watch sharks swim past, stare down a spitting cobra, crush scorpions and overcome malaria not once but twice. You’ll write articles and even books by hand like Kipling of old and learn to speak Spanish, Korean and Afrikaans phonetically through total immersion.
There’s also a recollection of my cherished youth; the angel who appeared to me as a 4-year-old, my courageous and hard-working sister Carol-Donna, 12 years of strict Catholic school, Boy Scouts, baseball, football and track, the almost frighteningly wild days at Arizona State, martial arts, a plethora of beautiful girlfriends, working in Mexico and covering Major League Spring Training as a young reporter, a full scholarship to Baylor for an MIJ, living through the bloody end of apartheid in South Africa and starting a Ph.D. at Texas A&M.
Then somewhat like Joseph languishing in Potiphar’s jail, there’s the endurance of 27 brutal months in the icebox of South Korea, where giant rats and roaches, teargas, a TV career and the help of my good friend Marcus all combined to prepare me for the adventures to come.
These detailed accounts will make you laugh out loud and cry tears of empathy.
It’s “Sixteen Candles” meets “The Quest.”
Amid this wilderness of mirrors you’ll come to understand, as I have, that the identical nature of a single strand of DNA and the pictures of distant, forming galaxies taken by the Hubble Telescope prove the existence of a “Master Blueprint” in both the macro and micro sense. This universal quasi-secret I call “The LoBaido Paradigm” means all of the things we experience are by grand design and thus truly significant.
At the height of my fame and good fortune my beloved and late mother, Viola, became very ill with liver cancer. I left my job as a journalist with WND.com and cared for both her and my father until they passed away. I cooked and cleaned, washed dishes, shopped, shoveled snow and catered to their every need and whim. This was my great honor as a son and as a Christian after all my parents did for me as a sick baby. I would rather be dead than to have had someone else care for my sick parents in their old age.
During this time, I was tested with many trials: a torn meniscus in my knee, strange fevers, energy waves (termed “adrenal exhaustion”), which taxed my strength and vitality, a mysterious rash that hospitalized me and allowed me to sleep only two to three hours for 35 consecutive nights, a concussion, the death of my mother and father within a four-month span, slander, betrayal, depression, arrow-like spiritual attacks, the loss of my job, career, travel budget, legion of fans, credit rating, nuclear family and relatives.
Yet just when I had lost everything, even my very will to go on, I found the only thing I ever really wanted anyway. I found my Carina again – after eight very long years – on June 1, 2003, at a shopping mall in Pretoria, South Africa.
Actually, Carina found me. And that rediscovery opened the gateway to my greatest test of all.
Through all of these adventures, through all of the adversity and heartache, I learned that God is a good God and that in His power we “shall laugh at war and famine.” (Job 5:22) I learned that it’s not about “feeling good,” but rather about “being good.”
As my beloved and late mother used to say, “Anthony, being good is everything. It is the only thing.”
I also learned that we must identify with Jesus’ service to others, His suffering and His betrayal long enough in our own lives until we are imprinted with His righteousness, power, authority and victory over this world. “The Way” is never easy, but it is the path all good men and women must take.
Ultimately, Carina is the romantic tale of an American boy and a South African girl who held onto something beautiful across oceans of time and space. It is a story of faith, honor and goodness. “To love when love has been forgotten.” It is a space-age “Romeo and Juliet.” It is a 21st century epic of two broken hearts that came together again, but in a way no one ever could have imagined.
It is a story of how the Devil tried – and failed – to destroy me.
It is a story of how I had it all, lost it all and got it all back again 100 fold.
It is a story of love.
It is a story of angels.
It is a story of miracles.
It is a true story.
Now it will be your story as well.