By Betty Levitov
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Extra resources for Africa on Six Wheels: A Semester on Safari
Even more astounding was Albert’s next venture, a job in Scandinavia. 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.
There is barely enough food, since any surplus must be sold in the markets for cash to cover taxes and school fees. We realize by seeing up close that the life romanticized by images on tv and in National Geographic—beautiful people dressed in colorful cloth living a simple, natural life—is also desperately hard. Jason is particularly moved by the visit. He and I talk about the possibility of his returning as a volunteer teacher at the Moivaro School, a project Mr. Mushi and I have discussed. Jason would be the ideal one to initiate the project since he’s adaptable and enthusiastic.
When he ﬁnished secondary school in Arusha, Albert attended the teachers’ training college in Butimba, earning a two-year certiﬁcate. He eventually worked to establish Shangarao School in Moivaro village. I imagine his family regarded him as a pioneer, pursuing an additional degree in sociology while teaching and beginning the ﬁrst primary school in the village. Even more astounding was Albert’s next venture, a job in Scandinavia. 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.