Postcards from Africa
Up 2001 Africa

Postcards from:


South Africa
South Africa-2
Ivory Coast
Burkina Faso

A public monument on an intersection island in Cairo Egypt

Nakuru Kenya: Blue skinned John Lumula, the service station manager near the bus station in Nakura Kenya. We shared conversation for about a half hour until the bus left for Kampala. Just an ordinary guy, he explained Uganda corruption and tribalism issues from his perspective.



SmallBook19 January 2001

Ignorant and curious

Drums still remind me of Africa. They bring back vivid childhood memories full of mystery and foreboding. Ominously portrayed in films and books of the time as the "Dark Continent," the Africa revealed to my hungry young eyes included a land cloaked in dark steaming jungles teeming with hideous wild animals and naked black savages. I still remember what horror I felt watching one particularly gruesome movie (before the days of PG ratings) about a hapless expedition of "great white hunters" captured and tormented by screaming hoards of wild natives. Frenzied feathered warriors stomped menacingly around a big blazing bonfire eventually taking some of the expedition's black porters and ripping limbs from their bodies with a frighteningly primitive mechanism. 

National Geographic magazines helped dispel some of my earliest juvenile misconceptions, but left me with others persisting far into mature adulthood. What red blooded American boy hasn't snickered over detailed photos of bare breasted black girls liberally sprinkled throughout the pages of every article on Africa during the mid-1900's? I dare say my most reliable early knowledge of female anatomy came from my treasured collection of the those thick magazines with the distinctive slick yellow covers and freshly printed smell.

Years of education have changed little my gut feel for what goes on down there in that mysterious land. A constant barrage of troublesome news reports arriving during most of my adult life has created confusing images of a continent in turmoil, perpetually struggling to shake itself loose from the duel yokes of economic colonialism and religious hegemony. 

True Life Adventure programs aired on public television left me seriously misinformed about the relationships between wild animals and the burgeoning human populations, too. As I prepared to travel there, my vague expectations for Africa still included hungry man-eating lions lurking in the tall grasses everywhere; primitive social, political, religious and cultural practices; savage tribalism culminating in violent bloody clashes between uncivilized groups and rampant political corruption.

Exploring Africa early in 2001, my fresh education along the road progressed slowly as I sought to see with the eyes of a child. I wanted to discover for myself how things really are without preconceived notions of how others think they are, trusting in fate and serendipity to see me through unforeseen ordeals, unexpected challenges. 

Come along with me now as I reveal what I actually found while traveling under often uncomfortable conditions to places no sane tourist would have any difficulty avoiding, places which took me through twenty-one of the more than fifty countries on the vast African continent and through towns, villages and neighborhoods where a white face is so rare it always draws crowds of the curious; children boisterous, their parents shy. (cont.)

Fred L Bellomy 2001


Victoria Falls Zambia & Livingstone: This baboon is looking for unattended luggage to pilfer according to one of the Zambian border guards who chased him away.

Sun City South Africa: We got a lot closer to the herd of elephants on our game drive through the Pilanesberg Game Preserve adjacent to Sun City South Africa.






Matrouh Egypt: It seems to be some artist's idea of a realistic representation of a crab.


Nairobi Kenya: A monument in one of the large green spaces set aside by the Nairobi government.


Luxor Egypt : More columns within the complex of temple ruins at Karnak Temple in Luxor Egypt: note the "benches" around the bases of each column.


Serengeti to DarEsSalaam Tanzania: An ancient Maasai tribesman I met at a brick manufacturing operation in the Serengeti. After I took the picture and while the Dutch guys were freely passing out gifts to everyone else, the old man indicated he wouldn't mind getting some money as well. I had no small bills to give.


Ngara Tanzania: The cockpit of our De Havilland DHC-2 Turbo-Beaver Mk3 operated by the UNHCR in Tanzania. By virtue of my having had flying experience some 50 years earlier, the pilot had me sit in his co-pilot's seat. Thank goodness he didn't have a heart attack during our hour and a half flight!


Reference photo: author
 August 2002

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