Monday, March 16, 2015

My 2013 "Hemingway in East Africa" class at Lake Babati

In January, 2013, I was in Tanzania with St. Olaf College students on my "Hemingway in East Africa" course.

I designed this course in 2006 for Colorado College, prompted by Professor John Watkins of that College, who had heard me rave endlessly about Hemingway's African travels and writings and his life-long love of Africa.

The course aimed at sharing with students what I call the African dimension of Hemingway. This incorporates his writings based on his two trips to East Africa in 1933-34 and 1953-54. Professor Bill Davis of Colorado College and I inaugurated the course in 2007.

Traveling in the places where Hemingway traveled and reading his writings about those places--the land, the people, the fauna, and the flora--students acquire a unique perspective on Hemingway. The writings include Green Hills of Africa and Under Kilimanjaro; the famous short story, "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber;" letters and journalistic writings.

The photo above features the 2013 class, together with our driver/tour guides, at Lake Babati. In his Green Hills of Africa, Hemingway wrote about Babati and Lake Babati:

     We left, soon after midnight, ahead of the outfit, who were to strike camp and follow in the two lorries. We stopped in Babati at the little hotel overlooking the lake and bought some more Pan-Yam pickles and had some cold beer (p. 143).

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