Travels Of Richard And John Lander Travels in West Africa (Congo Francais, Corisco and Cameroons) by Mary H. Kingsley




















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My ignorance regarding West Africa was soon removed.  And although
the vast cavity in my mind that it occupied is - Page 9
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My Ignorance Regarding West Africa Was Soon Removed.

And although the vast cavity in my mind that it occupied is not even yet half filled up, there is a great deal of very curious information in its place.

I use the word curious advisedly, for I think many seemed to translate my request for practical hints and advice into an advertisement that "Rubbish may be shot here." This same information is in a state of great confusion still, although I have made heroic efforts to codify it. I find, however, that it can almost all be got in under the following different headings, namely and to wit: -

The dangers of West Africa. The disagreeables of West Africa. The diseases of West Africa. The things you must take to West Africa. The things you find most handy in West Africa. The worst possible things you can do in West Africa.

I inquired of all my friends as a beginning what they knew of West Africa. The majority knew nothing. A percentage said, "Oh, you can't possibly go there; that's where Sierra Leone is, the white mans grave, you know." If these were pressed further, one occasionally found that they had had relations who had gone out there after having been "sad trials," but, on consideration of their having left not only West Africa, but this world, were now forgiven and forgotten.

I next turned my attention to cross-examining the doctors. "Deadliest spot on earth," they said cheerfully, and showed me maps of the geographical distribution of disease.

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