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Volume 4003
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The idea of this African Safari goes back many years. But it was only an idea that I never expected to follow through with.

It became more of a positive idea after I retired, in November 1990, from a prolonged Florida vacation. During that vacation trip, my old friend from grade school and high school, Jack Orwig and I drove through "Lion Country Safari" in West Palm Beach, Florida. Seeing the African animals roaming free in that "drive-through" zoo increased my interest and desire.

I felt the need to travel and to escape from the routine of being retired from a daily job, and living alone.

I picked up some brochures on African Safaris, and studied them. I decided I could afford a Safari, and made some tentative plans for the autumn of 1992. 

The more I studied the travel brochures, the more i expanded my planning. I decided to include Tanzania in my Safari instead of limiting it only to Kenya. Studying the brochure further, Egypt sounded like an interesting addition. I decided that since I would be in Africa, I might as well include Egypt in the same trip. 

After that, I made the decision to stop over in Rome on my way back from . . . continued . . .

. . . continued. . . Egypt, and visit Franco Grillso. I had been corresponding with Franco for several years. Franco was the Art Director for a company that published comic books. Included in their line of comics were books of daily and Sunday Tarzan strips. He had been unable to obtain every strip and page he needed, so I have furnished copies of the Tarzan daily strips and Sunday pages to him.

I made the decision to have West Penn AAA Travel handle the details of the trip, since I could talk face-to-face wit their travel agent at South Hills Village office -- Mary Petsoules.

I picked "The Best of East Africa" Safari package TAE-1009 offered by Olson Travelworld, Inc. for the East 

African portion, and "The Cleopatra Nile Cruise" (down the Nile River) by Wildlife Safari for the Egyptian part.

My son, John, a first officer on US Air flights could ticket me from Pittsburgh to Frankfurt, Germany on US Air. He also obtained reduced fare tickets from Frankfurt to Nairobi, Kenya; Cairo to Rome; and Rome back to Frankfurt for me.

I selected a departure date of September 23 from Pittsburgh to Frankfurt, then on to Nairobi to join up with the Safari Tour on Sunday, September 27.

I made the necessary down payment to West Penn Travel for the complete strip on June 30, with more paid on July 8.

But some unexpected things happened "On the Way to the Forum"!

On July 22, I fell off my wall alongside my driveway while cutting the grass. I broke five bones, dislocated a toe joint, and tore the tendon off the side of my left foot. This injury was a serious matter requiring surgery in a hospital, and a cast on my foot for eight weeks. I called West Penn Travel and was able to delay the trip until the departure date (from New York City) of October 9. (Their departure date.)

More happened!

In early August I began to lose my voice. A doctor examination and CAT Scan analysis was that I had cancer of the left thyroid gland. This required surgery to remove on September 4. Upon pathology examination the growth proved to be nonmalignant. But, I experienced heart pains following surgery, and later in  my left heart artery.

On September 16, I had balloon Cardiac Angioplasty to open up that artery. This was successful, and on September 23, I finally had the cast removed from my left foot, and an O.K. from all the . . . continued . . .

. . . continued. . . doctors involved to go ahead on the Safari, which had b y now been completely paid for.

In order to join up with the Olson Safari group in Nairobi on Saturday, October 10, my plans called for leaving Pittsburgh on US Air, on a space available basis on Wednesday, October 7.

A flight from Frankfurt to Nairobi on October 8, arriving in Nairobi on Friday October 9, would get me there a day earlier than the rest of the group coming from New York City. I had West Penn Travel arrange for Olson to book me into the same Nairobi Hotel for my early arrival. I had taken all the required immunization shots, had a valid passport with valid visas, new shoes and clothes and everything ready to travel.

Following here then, is day-to-day account (all too brief) of my journey, to experience the real Africa. Not the Africa of Edgar Rice Burroughs, nor the Hollywood version, but the actual Africa, such as it is in 1992.
 


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