By Betty Levitov
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Extra resources for Africa on Six Wheels: A Semester on Safari
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.