Travels in Africa

Fred and Donanne Hunter

TRAVELS IN AFRICA: Kenya, 1972, saying goodbye

Once we were notified of our imminent transfer back to the United States, Donanne and I entered a time of transition. We began to make myriad arrangements. These involved travel bookings, ordering lift vans for household effects, getting various forms in order: taxes, work permits and crucially important a birth certificate for Pauly. On an […]

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As we were about to leave Nairobi, I learned that Kenyan journalist Hilary Ng’weno had started JOE Magazine. Eager to support this bravery, I sent him an essay that I felt sure would be rejected by the Monitor’s Home Forum. Ng’weno printed it after I had already departed – possibly a good thing – but […]

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It did not take long after Pauly’s birth for me to realize that two newcomers in the house – the baby and the ayah Murugi – made it difficult for me to work there. So I found a room in an office block in town. It was a tiny space with a window, several floors […]

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TRAVELS IN AFRICA: Leaving Laban and Murugi, Kenya, 1973

My last reporting trip as the Monitor’s Africa correspondent, mandated by my Boston editors, was one trip too many. In Mozambique, Rhodesia and Angola I tried to “finish up strong,” as I was urged to do in high school and college. This would demonstrate that I was “on the team.” However there were all the […]

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TRAVELS IN AFRICA: Laban and Murugi, Kenya, 1973

The day finally came that I knew must someday come. My editors announced that I was being transferred back to Boston. The Vietnam war had wound down. The Monitor bureau in Saigon was being closed. That provoked a shuffling of correspondents not unlike a game of musical chairs. The man who had been in Beijing […]

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TRABELS IN AFRICA: Laban and Murugi, Kenya, 1972

One evening- Murugi was staying with Pauly and I would drive her all the way home – we went to a dinner party hosted by our great friends, the regional director of Oxfam and his wife. The conversation flowed easily and, as not infrequently happened, it made a stop at the subject of servants. Not […]

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When Murugi babysat for us at night, I would take her to the unpaved alley beside the gas station. I would stop at the usual place where the alley tapered into a footpath. Leaving the car, she would move quickly, minding her own business if other Africans were about. That hurry always made me wonder […]

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TRAVELS IN AFRICA: Murugi, Kenya, 1972

My job as a correspondent in Africa required me to observe people, how they lived, dressed, carried themselves and thought. Murugi, Baby Pauly’s ayah and the custodian of his diapers, puzzled me. I sometimes wondered: Who is Murugi? I understood that most expatriates shared their lives with people they did not know. Not knowing the […]

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TRAVELS IN AFRICA: Laban #2, Kenya 1969-1973

When the house on Rosslyn Lone Tree Estate was sold out from under us, we felt both positive and negative reactions. On the negative side our being happily settled was totally disrupted, not only for us, but for Laban as well. On the positive side, we realized that living seven miles out kept us more […]

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TRAVELS INTO AFRICA: Laban, Kenya, 1969-73

Travels in Africa has never featured the Africans we shared our lives with in Nairobi. Since we’ve been dealing with our domestic life there, we start a series of posts about them. A great disappointment of our time there is that photos of these dear people have not survived multiple uprootings. He was a thin, […]

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