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Africa on Six Wheels: A Semester on Safari by Betty Levitov

By Betty Levitov

“I imagine i am getting it,” Betty Levitov’s youngest scholar stated, sitting on a porch in Harare, Zimbabwe. “You’ve had a almost certainly deadly ailment, and confronted dying, and now you’ll just do approximately anything.” the scholar used to be attempting to fathom why a instructor might take 13 youngsters from a small midwestern liberal arts university on a three-month trek throughout Africa.
 
The resolution, a studying event like no different, unfolds in Levitov’s completely attractive account of her life-changing stint as a mwalimu (“teacher” in Swahili) with an Australian bus driving force and 13 collage childrens from Nebraska in tow. The group’s wanderings take them—and us—through seven international locations. via dhow journeys and donkey rides at the Swahili island of Lamu, scuba diving and spice excursions in Zanzibar, camping out within the Namib wasteland, and swimming at the fringe of a cataract at Victoria Falls, we stumble upon extraordinary humans, new customs, and interesting arts (along with malaria, flat tires, a motorbike twist of fate, and a hostage crisis). because the scholars apprentice themselves to African chefs, fishermen, carvers, and batik artists, we find with them a sophisticated and intricate connection between humans as a rule worlds apart.
 

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He is in his nineties. His whole life, he has kept the same tool, a long stick. ” Mushi says the stick has many uses: farming, hammering, fixing, securing, and walking. His father and mother shake our hands and welcome us. They speak no English, but the meaning is clear. Albert’s mother speaks to me, gesturing with her hand to follow her into the house. It is noon, but dark inside, and I stand in the front room, waiting for my eyes to adjust. Behind the front room are two other rooms with sleeping mats and blankets.

Albert’s mother speaks to me, gesturing with her hand to follow her into the house. It is noon, but dark inside, and I stand in the front room, waiting for my eyes to adjust. Behind the front room are two other rooms with sleeping mats and blankets. Pots and a few dishes are on a shelf in the front room. There are two stools and a mat on the floor. The house is mud brick with an aluminum roof. Back outside, she sits in the shade of the roof where it overhangs to form a porch. I see that the kitchen must be the fire pit and simple grill with a pot in the front yard.

The bar looked like a set out of Casablanca, with tarzan a n d t u ta n k h a m e n | 17 ceiling fans, huge hand-woven carpets on the wood floors, waiters with white shirts and red fezzes. Along with beer or cocktails, the waiters brought bowls of boiled and salted beans. In the evenings, across the street in front of a tiny café, men sat on folding chairs smoking hookahs and drinking Arabic espressos, strong coffee with cardamom. I am not a smoker, but I tried a hookah, to the amusement of the regulars.

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