By Betty Levitov
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Extra info 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.
Always on the sidewalks are minimarkets and stalls. Arusha, like other large African towns, has Western-style restaurants with chicken, burgers, and chips as well as typical outdoor food stalls with local favorites. The staple in Tanzania is cornmeal or ground maize, cooked and served with meat, chicken, ﬁsh, beans, bananas, or plantains and a sauce; the dish is called ugali in Tanzania and Kenya, nsima in Malawi, sadza in Zimbabwe, and mealie meal in South Africa. Also popular is nyama choma, or grilled or roasted meat.
Primarily, I learned the depth of my own ignorance and the narrowness of my “formal” education. I’m certain the impact of the education I got in Africa engendered the idea to take my own students on a similar journey. Among the expatriate community in Cape Palmas—the missionaries, Peace Corps volunteers, business people, and others—the talk was often of travel. Those of us volunteers with paid return tickets and severance allowances endlessly pored over maps, planning our eventual trips home. During nearly three years of volunteer service, counting holidays and the return to the United States, I traveled to the African countries of Nigeria, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Mali; I crossed a corner of Guinea overland, deplaned in Dakar, and traveled by bus into the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and by train across Tunisia and Algeria.