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Memories of Zimbabwe

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  • Don & Cathy Weber
    The article Christine Chumber sent today (Non-Malawi News) about the status the stone sculpters rekindled all the great memories I have of Zimbabwe as they
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 28, 2005
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      The article Christine Chumber sent today (Non-Malawi News) about the status the stone sculpters rekindled all the great memories I have of Zimbabwe as they relate to our group (94-96) and R&R.
      Our house in Limbe was frequently the overnight stop for those coming to Blantyre to catch the bus to Haare. Now we did not make our initial trip to Zimbabwe until after our 1st year of service so had to experience it vicariously through those who returned to our house with their purchases and stories. We still have pictures of Matt McNulty in his greenish tie dye suit with matching hat. (Maybe he bought it in Mozambique because we also had his shrimp for dinner upon his return). But I do remember seeing lots of other stuff bought there and heard countless stories about a country which we understood was the antithesis of Malawi in amenities. I couldn't wait until we too could indulge.  
      We finally went. Talk about meeting expectations. Actually it was beyond them. We had pizza, saw the movie "Muriel's Wedding", ate some proper meals in big hotels, took the overnight train to Victoria Falls via Bulawayo where we bought batiks and then took a leisurely guided canoe ride on the Zambeze (Zambeze beer and snacks included) after trying to appreciate the grandeur of the Falls. We were too wimpy to go whitewater rafting. Everyone who returned from Victoria Falls told us we had to do it. They then proceeded to tell us they were never so scared in their life or never felt so close to death or both at some point during the trip down the river. Watching the bungie jumpers leap from the middle of the bridge joining Zimbabwe and Zambia was more of a reinforcement that as old geezers we really shouldn't be compromising our fragile bodies.
      We made two more trips to Zimbabwe, one when our daughter visited us and I ended up paddling a canoe amongst the hippos and crocs because my wife & daughter thought it would be fun. It was until Cathy's canoe got hung up on a sand bar and I noticed the nearby crocs grinning. On our way back to the USA we went via Haare so Cathy could attend a conference for Physical Therapists. I bought a stone carving on that trip and it sits on the mantle of our fireplace.
      It always frustrates the hell out of me when I read Christine's accounts of how Mugabe and his henchmen have so thoroughly screwed up the country which played such an important role in making our PC experience a positive one.
      Obviously my frustration is inconsequential to those whose lives and livelihoods have been so needlessly damaged because of the political whimsies of those in power. (While writing this last sentence it hit me that one might construe that there is a correlation elsewhere in the world at this time).
      Don of Don & Cathy
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