By Betty Levitov
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Extra resources for Africa on Six Wheels: A Semester on Safari
They like Mushi, but I can see that after two hours of talk, they are ready for an end to the meeting. ” He starts with his father, Philemon Sindato. In 1932, when he was twenty-four, Philemon walked approximately seventy-ﬁve kilometers (forty-six and a half miles) from Kilimanjaro Kombo village to Arusha. He was a Chagga and had learned the trade of blacksmithing from his own father. The Maasai people, who appreciated his skills, persuaded him to stay on in Arusha and earn money by making spears.
Others, including myself, followed her example. Jeanna traded her expensive sandals for a small carving. We discussed the fact that these gifts were merely gestures, that we were truly helpless in the face of the enormous problems, but they had both real and symbolic signiﬁcance. Something about the shared response to the poverty of the people stayed with us; our three-week experience was more than tourism. In Cairo we stayed at the Windsor Hotel on Alfey Bey, near the Cinema Diana. The hotel was one of my favorites, with Old World character but somewhat in decline.
The teacher invites us inside and instructs the students in Swahili, and they respond by singing the “ABC Song” in English. We smile in surprise. Kelcy, a future teacher, sits on the ﬂoor, and two or three kids gather close to her. Mr. Mushi explains that this school is supported privately and that is why there are good facilities (by this he means the basics—benches, some books, a chalkboard). The public school has little of even these things, he tells us. As we walk to Mushi’s house, some of the nursery school kids follow.
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