I really did go to Africa to work: On this trip I was visiting schools in Malawi and Tanzania that train non-physician clinicians who provide life-saving care to pregnant women and their newborns in the very isolated towns and villages. (There just aren’t enough docs who want to live and work in the rural towns and villages of Africa.) But, while in Tanzania, in order to get from the school in Kilimanjaro to the school in Mwanza (on the shores of Lake Victoria) I was lucky enough to travel right across the Serengeti Game Park! So, we rented a Range Rover and a driver and off we went.
This little guy greeted us at the entrance.
They are also remarkable businessmen and women. These boys are painted as for puberty initiation rites and were by the roadside to sing and dance for tourists.But you dare not take a picture without being able to pay for the privilege!
After crossing the Masai territory, we descended onto the vast Serengeti plain… and it was amazing. First thing we saw was a herd of mama giraffes loping along with their babies. Their gait is really funny. They were clearly curious about us. What neat creatures! These giraffes were feeling amorous I’m told.
We saw several hyena by the roadside. Bold as you like in broad daylight. I never expected to see them because I always thought they were nocturnal. They are powerful and fear-inspiring creatures. I was very glad to be in the vehicle.
The ostriches were out there grazing too, with no fear of the predators only the egg hunters. Their eggs are huge and are collected and sold as tourist trinkets. I wouldn’t want to cross these parents though!
On our way back, climbing back up to the Ngorogoro crater rim, we passed these giraffes grazing at altitude, the plain spread out below them in the distance. I think that the giraffes were my favorite.
One can’t visit Africa and not think about the history of colonialism and the role of the Christian missionaries there. These are two old churches, one in rural Malawi that also has a hospital and school on its grounds the other stands on the water front in downtown Dar es Salam.
Last, but not least, are the Africans themselves. I am privileged to be able to learn a little about the lives of the people I meet there. But it’s harder for me to get photos of people than of animals… it can feel intrusive. This young woman was selling roasted bugs (yech!) on the side of the road and thought it very funny that I wanted to photograph her goods before buying, but gave her permission. (I will eat many things, but I did not try this snack although I’m told it’s quite tasty.)
Note the sleeping baby tied on her back… that makes me very happy and is what my work is all about- healthy mothers and healthy babies.