By Betty Levitov
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Extra resources for Africa on Six Wheels: A Semester on Safari
At that signal the pace of pedestrian movement picks up. Men in robes and koﬁas, pillbox Muslim prayer caps, hurry toward the doors of the building. While we stare, others stare at us. After prayer time I ask permission to enter the mosque, as I did in Egypt and Turkey, where visitors are allowed. Here in Tanzania I am turned away. Only Muslims can enter. Indians own many businesses in East Africa, restaurants and small stores crammed with inventory. A hardware store may have locks, tools, ﬂashlights, batteries, and cooking appliances, but it also sells many other household products, such as dishes, pots, and bedding.
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. I am an old man. I treat many illnesses with herbs. We have four medicinal men in our village. I can cure your headaches. If you have stomach problems, I can give you herbal remedies. I can cure constipation, diarrhea, and nausea.
At breakfast there are freshbaked mandazi (like doughnuts), mufﬁns, and bread; eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausages. People who work in the businesses close by come for morning coffee. The owner talks to me, but she never takes a seat. ” she asks. ” I tell her I’m a professor with students on a three-and-a-halfmonth study term in Africa. I get the usual raised eyebrows (surprise? assent? envy? ). “I’m from Germany. Meintz. I’ve been in Africa a long time— twelve years. ” I try to ﬁnd out what the changes are.
Africa on Six Wheels: A Semester on Safari by Betty Levitov