When Tucsonan Tina Springer was a skinny 10-year-old in South Bend, Ind., she remembers sitting on her bed, reading an article in the August 1956 National Geographic about Africa.

Forty-eight years later she booked a flight and a safari tour to the Maasai Mara, a national reserve in southwestern Kenya known for its lions, cheetahs and leopards, as well as the annual migration of more than a million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebras.

Now, once a year for the past 10 years she has made the 9,500-mile trip. Eventually, three-week outings became three-month stays. In Kenya she would help buy goats for villagers and deliver books bought with money raised in Tucson. — Perla Trevizo