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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 most likely deadly disorder, and confronted demise, and now you’ll just do approximately anything.” the coed used to be attempting to fathom why a instructor might take 13 young children from a small midwestern liberal arts university on a three-month trek throughout Africa.
The solution, 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 nations. via dhow journeys and donkey rides at the Swahili island of Lamu, scuba diving and spice excursions in Zanzibar, camping out within the Namib desolate tract, and swimming at the fringe of a cataract at Victoria Falls, we come across impressive 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 refined and complicated connection between humans mostly worlds apart.

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I can cure your headaches. If you have stomach problems, I can give you herbal remedies. I can cure constipation, diarrhea, and nausea. ” Mr. Mushi explains that the healer is a good psychologist as well as an herbalist. People come from Arusha to see him, sometimes even wazungu. The healer continues, laughing at his own words. Mushi translates: “My best skill is curing sexual problems. I can treat infertility, sterility, and impotence. ” He gestures to us, as if he thinks wazungu are particularly susceptible to these conditions.

On our first morning Richard Jachi, an administrator at the Lutheran Center, walks us up the road past the Natural History Museum to Via Via, a restaurant and bar owned by a Belgian couple, travelers who liked Tanzania and never left. This becomes one of our regular spots. We sit around wooden tables on a stone patio, surrounded by bamboo fencing and palm trees, or at the thatchcovered bar and seating area overlooking a hillside of green lawns landscaped with palms, frangipani, and bougainvillea.

As we walk through the village, some kids follow, others hold our hands. Mushi greets the people and introduces us, speaking his tribal language, Chagga, and Swahili. We walk to a waterfall and stream and then back to Mushi’s house. A village healer joins our circle. His white beard grows four inches below his chin, 42 | m r. m us hi yellowish and ragged at the edges. His full head of white hair is cropped short, and he wears a white button-down shirt. He looks like a guru. Mushi translates: “I greet you and welcome you to Moivaro village.

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