Letters from Africa:
The Electronic Letters of John Hobgood
September 1996 - May 1997

Zenno and John Hobgood, Dar Es Salaam, May 1997 John Hobgood, a 1997 graduate of East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA, spent the academic year of 1996-1997 in Tanzania under the auspices of an international studies program created by a partnership between the University of Florida and the University of Dar Es Salaam. The genesis of electronic mail enabled Mr. Hobgood and his friends and family to stay in touch much more frequently and timely than has been previously possible. During his months of study, Mr. Hobgood logged many hours, usually in increments of about 30 minutes a sitting, in UDSM's computer lab documenting his experiences in electronic letters. His observations and analysis on the subjects below reveal a deep sensitivity and tolerance unusual for a person so young. He celebrated many experiences in urban and rural Africa and endured several disasters, including contracting malaria. His goal to study in Africa and to become a public school teacher has been partly inspired by Jan Vansina's life, so eloquently expressed in Vansina's recent work, Living With Africa. Mr. Hobgood returned to East Carolina University and received his B.A. in Regional Geography in 1998. In July 2000 he completed his two-year commitment to teach English in Japan as a member of the JET Program (Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program). In January 2001 John Hobgood began a Masters program in Peace and Development Studies at Universitat Jaume I, Castellón de la Plana, Spain. Later in 2001 he travelled to Dar Es Salaam to carry out field research for his Masters Degree. He completed his thesis on reparations for the Atlantic Slave Trade in early 2005 and now lives with his wife and son near Wilmington, NC.

The letters that follow have been reproduced with Mr. Hobgood's permission. He has generously agreed to their use as an online teaching resource. H-Africa, an international electronic discussion group and part of the H-Net family of listservs, has also agreed to grant permission to publish several of its e-mails on malaria (see letters 23, 26, and 28), which I forwarded to Mr. Hobgood contemporaneously with his contraction of malaria. Misspelled words have been corrected, long e-mail address routes have been eliminated, occasional transitional words added where [these brackets appear], and only a very small amount of personal data has been taken out--far less than 1%. May Mr. Hobgood's electronic letters inspire you in your quest for truth and wisdom.

Click on/select your electronic letter assignment below and follow instructions given to you in class. Several helpful links to maps and home pages follow the letters.

Letters from Africa: The Electronic Letters of John Hobgood:

Home Pages, Maps, and News:

E-Mail John Hobgood

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First Online Edition: 22 July 1997
Last Revised: 7 August 2008