By Betty Levitov
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Extra resources for Africa on Six Wheels: A Semester on Safari
He left teaching to hire on with the Danish Volunteer Service, teaching African culture and orientation skills and traveling to Denmark, Sweden, and Norway between 1985 and 1998. With his income he built his present house and a new brick house for his parents. In 1995 he married a woman he met at the Bamboo, and their daughter, Ayanna, was born in 1996. Albert tells me a shortened version of his heartbreak, that when Ayanna was two years old, his wife left him and their child and took up with a mzungu man.
We wear our ski caps and jackets for the cold temperatures. I lend Jenni Moore a pair of socks. We hunker down in our tents, sharing the blankets distributed by the safari guides. I wake with the sun in the morning. Even after a week I am still jet-lagged and don’t sleep through the night. After a breakfast of eggs and peanut-buttered toast, we load into the vans and descend the steep walls into the crater to begin a day of game watching. At more than twelve miles wide, Ngorongoro is one of the largest calderas in the world, and we take in the views of swamplands, grass, and forests and the animals—gazelle, zebra, a sleeping lion, and a black rhino—from a great distance.
He tells me he’s been suffering extreme depression since the breakup and confesses that Ayanna is his mainstay. Later I learn another piece of biography, also in condensed form, of Albert’s affair with a married Danish woman in 1990 and the fact of another daughter, Brigita, born in 1994, a child whom he hadn’t included in the drawing of his family tree. I now add to my interesting collection of impressions about Albert his tendency to ruminate lengthily on subjects such as philosophy, religion, ethnicity, history, and politics, and to be elliptical, even elusive, about matters of the heart.
Africa on Six Wheels: A Semester on Safari by Betty Levitov