Tuesday, July 15, 2008
As a general rule, I take a book a week with me on a trip. While that may seem like a lot, there is always a great deal of down time, especially on an overland safari. Since I will be cruising, I will have less time to read because I will want to take part in all available activities, but I will still bring three selections. The first is EyeWitness Travel Egypt, a pictorial guidebook about Egypt. The second is The Unheard: A Memoir of Deafness and Africa by Josh Swiller, a Yale graduate who describes his Peace Corps work in Zambia, and finally, Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writer’s Guide, edited by Mark Kramer and Wendy Call. Always the English teacher, I already have two books lined up to read when I return that I just ordered online: Peter Godwin’s Wild at Heart: Man and Beast in Southern Africa and Rhodesians Never Die: The Impact of War and Political Change on White Rhodesia. Now I’m off to the airport.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I received Wild at Heart: Man and Beast in Southern Africa in the mail yesterday from Amazon. It’s a beautiful coffee table book written by Peter Godwin and photographed by National Geographic’s Chris Johns. It features my favorite lion photo—a male walking in a windy desert. (http://www.2idiotsinaboat.com/pilgrim/media/lion.jpg) I used to have the image as my desktop photo on my laptop for a long time, and I just placed it there again. Lions are my favorite African animals, and that boy is majestic. The writing in the book is just as compelling. I love the last two lines of Peter Godwin’s Introduction: “However far you may have strayed from [Africa], between these covers at least, welcome home. For beneath the veneer of technological complexity, we are all wild at heart.” It is exactly that sentiment that drives me back to the continent. In just three days, I will be on African soil again.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Years ago, I read A Lion Called Christian, a memoir about a 35-pound lion cub that two Australian men were raising in London in 1969. In a year’s time, when the lion hit 185 pounds and was too large to keep in their flat, they contacted George Adamson in Kenya who released it back into the wild. Interestingly, my sister just sent me a link to a video about the two men reuniting with the lion after he had been released and had been living free for five years: https://wdexchange.wdeptford.k12.nj.us/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://videos.komando.com/2008/06/26/christian-the-lion/. It’s really touching. Bill Travers who starred in Born Free directed a film called Christian the Lion in 1971, but I haven’t seen it yet. Ironically, details about it appear in The New York Times yesterday: http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/9498/Christian-the-Lion/details
Friday, July 11, 2008
I watched some Africa-related videos last night on You Tube. I enjoyed some of the short clips from Out of Africa, especially the “Flight Over Africa.” My favorite music clips were by Johnny Clegg’s “Dela,” Wes’s “Awa Awa,” and Lucky Dube’s “Remember Me.” I also watched a few lion kills, which always receive a great deal of hits. The hot air balloon over the Serengeti brought back a lot of good memories of my own voyage ten years ago. That one-hour flight was the best $371 I ever spent. To view some of my favorites, you can visit my web site: http://www.africansafarilady.com/New_Folder/youtubevideos.htm.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Every morning I read news about Africa online. My favorite sites to visit include South Africa's Daily Mail and Guardian, The New York Times, and the BBC News. Right now my primary interest is in reading about the current situation in Zimbabwe. What is happening to that country is heartbreaking. I have a friend there now who runs the Turgwe Hippo Trust, and I am very concerned about her safety. Had it not been for the upheavel there, I would have been visiting the country now. For more insight into the politics of the country, read Peter Godwin's Mukiwa and When a Crocodile Eats the Sun. (You can read the reviews I wrote of the books on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com.) Two other great memoirs about the land invastions are Catherine Buckle's African Tears: The Zimbabwe Land Invastions and Beyond Tears: Zimbabwe's Tragedy.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
I just finished watching the documentary Peter Beard Scrapbooks: Africa and Beyond. I have been a fan of Peter's artwork for quite a while now and was excited to find this 1998 fifty-four minute film on Netflix. In addition to interviews, there is also footage of him taking photographs in his studio and in Kenya. To learn more about Peter's work, you can visit his web site: http://www.peterbeard.com/. Information about his exhibitions can be found at http://www.michaelhoppengallery.com/exhibition,past,2,0,0,0,11,0,0,0,peter_beard_peter_beard_time_s_up.html.