In June 1960, Alzada Kistner and her husband, David, a promising entomologist, left their 18-month-old daughter in the care of relatives and began what was to be a four month scientific expedition in the Belgian Congo. Three weeks after their arrival, the country was gripped by a violent revolution, trapping the Kistners in its midst. Despite having to face numerous life-threatening situations, the Kistners were not to be dissuaded. An emergency airlift by the United States Air Force brought them to safety in Kenya, where they continued their field work.
Thus began three decades of adventures in science. In An Affair with Africa, Alzada Kistner describes her family's African experience; the five expeditions they took beginning with the trip to the Belgian Congo in 1960 and ending in 1972-73 with a nine month excursion across southern Africa. From hunching over columns of ants for hours on end while seven months pregnant to eating dinner next to Idi Amin, Kistner provides a lively and humor-filled account of the human side of scientific discovery.
"The wealth of this narrative is its many fascinating anecdotes in a land where danger is a constant companion." (Publishers Weekly)
"Kistner captivates readers with her anecdotes and descriptions of Africa. The book also provides an excellent account of the politics of the country at the time. Both history buffs and armchair travelers will enjoy this story." (Library Journal)
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Poor am afraid.
- C. Thomas