africa letters

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My parents and I spent two years from August, 1974 to August, 1976 -- from when I was four to when I was six -- living on the Seronera Research Station in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, Africa. Mom wrote bunches of letters home to her and my dad's parents, and my dad wrote a couple, and one of my long-term projects is to transcribe them and scan in a bunch of the photos we took while there to illustrate them. Not that I've gotten very far on this - all I have done so far are the following few letters. To keep them in chronological order, the files are named in yy-mm-dd format.


  • SRI = Seronera Research Institute
  • Mom=Jan, Dad=Joe, me=Stephanie. Mom's parents: Hugh, Johnnie. Dad's parents: Leon, Elizabeth (she's my dad's stepmother, hence his opening salutation of "Dear Dad and Elizabeth.")
  • Each set of my grandparents would copy the letters they received and send them to the other set, and added a note or two occasionally.
  • The Box -- a large box (5' x 5' x 5' or so) of stuff we shipped over to Africa. I don't remember the full story (must ask Mom), but it got lost or something, and caught in red tape, and it took us months to get it.

    • 740902.txt
    • 750111.txt (added 3/10/2002)
    • 750112.txt (added 3/10/2002)
    • 750113.txt (added 3/8/2002)
    • 750121.txt (added 3/8/2002)
    • 750129.txt (added 3/8/2002)
    • 750205a.txt (added 3/8/2002)
    • 750205b.txt (added 3/8/2002)
    • 750211.txt (added 3/8/2002)
    • 750215.txt (added 3/10/2002)
    • 750326.txt (added 3/10/2002)
    • 750606.txt
    • 750611.txt (added 3/8/2002) This letter showcases the stupendous artistic talent I exhibited early on, and portrays two "geeraffs." Side 1 depicts a strangely short-legged giraffe with a large blob presumably meant to be an oxpecker on his back (I think the scribble and line to the right represent a tree), and Side 2 is indeed not a diplodocus, but a giraffe with a somewhat-out-of-scale oxpecker bird clinging to its back. You may need to tilt your head to the side to make that one out.
    • 750701.txt
    • 750704.txt
    • 750712.txt ( added 3/8/2002) In yet another fit of creativity, I drew a portrait of the genet cat I mentioned in the letter.
    • 760524.txt (added 3/8/2002)

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