Monday, 14 May 2012

My heart longs for Zimbabwe

I know the average internet attention span is about 20 seconds, but take the time to look at this whole post.. at least the pictures are good!

It's not easy to leave behind everything and everyone you ever loved, and move to a new country.  Just this morning Jessica said to me "I miss the Africa days, and who we were, we don't belong here in America" and then 5 minutes later she said to me "mum, I do also love America, but you know how sometimes you just want to be sad".  Out of the mouth of babes.  How wise she is.

Well, I decided to share with you a little about where we come from.  Although, how is it even possible to capture a country and a lifetime on a few blog pages? Especially one so rich in beauty and yet saturated in awful history.

Some people here have expressed surprise that we are white.. we laugh and say that we are now African Americans, but that might not be politically correct!  I suppose all the rest of the world sees of Africa is the wildlife and the local people on documentary's. 

Here are a few photo's of Zimbabwe, our home.

 The mighty Victoria Falls,  "Mosi oa-Tunya" ("the smoke that thunders")
The biggest curtain of falling water in the world and also one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
Zimbabwe Flag
Rhodesia Flag
 The Zim flag.  Not so fond of this one, I prefer the Rhodesian flag, sans the communist star. I love the Sable antelope, they were common on our farm in Karoi.

The Zimbabwe dollar, hyper-inflation.  They even printed a Trillion dollar note after this photo was taken!
On the bright side, your math skills get pretty good when you are counting money with 12 or more digits.
The Zimbabwean people adapt to their hardships with humour.
The Zimbabwe Ruins.. although it is a "no no" to call it by that name, in the new regime it must be called "Great Zimbabwe" as if somehow the word "ruins" might undermine the  ruined country.
Superior logic, no?
 There is a great deal of speculation about the history of the ruins, some think they were built by Arab slave traders or  the local tribes. Some think it may even have links to  
The Queen of Sheba and King Solomon's Mines.

Texan's think that Texas has a beautiful shape..
we think Zimbabwe has a beautiful shape.

Kariba, our home for a while.   
Stuart flew float planes here, transporting tourists to the Safari lodges  around the lake.  We had exceptional close encounters with game of all kind.  My favorite is the elephant.  It's like loving the sea, you love it but respect it too!  
Canoe Safari's on the Zambezi River.  The Zambezi River originates in Zambia (like me), flows over the Victoria Falls, into Kariba dam and finally through Mozambique and  into the Indian Ocean (in a nutshell).  It is the fourth longest river in Africa.

Kariba dam wall is one of the largest dams in the world, standing 128 m (420 ft) tall and 579 m (1,900 ft) long.  Built by Italians.  Large numbers of animals were stranded on Islands, and rescued by boat.. called "Operation Noah". 
Houseboat on Kariba, the best accommodation in the world!
The best Emeralds in the world !!!

You’ve heard of Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher who taught that everything in the material world is a more or less imperfect copy of its original, ideal form stowed in eternity? Well, let’s suppose he had sold gems on the side. And let’s suppose he’d received a parcel of top-grade emeralds from the Sandawana mine in Zimbabwe. How close to the ideal, or archetype, would he have thought these stones?
As close to perfection as emerald gets. That’s why Sandawana emerald, discovered in 1956, quickly reached cult status among dealers and has never wanted since for fervent admirers.
Those fortunate enough to have sold these southern African emeralds talk about the finest of them with the rapture and reverence reserved fro Kashmir sapphires and Burmese rubies. Just listen to this emerald specialist: “The finest emerald I’ve ever seen was a 3-carat Sandawana stone shown me in 1980. It’s owner, an Indian dealer, wanted a mind-boggling $60,000 per carat. But eventually he got it.” source$546
Not the best Ice-cream in the world... 
but a very Zimbabwean experience !
This is what makes Zimbabwe exceptional... you may get very close to animals... you may even get squashed or eaten... but you are free to have those experiences without having the rule book thrown at you!  I have slept in the open, on a little stretcher, beneath the African stars, while the lions, hyena's and elephants have walked through the camp site.

"Hey guys... the Take Away's have arrived!  
I get the driver. " 
"Aw man... you got the driver last time"
"Mom, what does a tourist taste like?"
Game Rangers like to assure tourists that lions do not distinguish between the open vehicle and the tasty tourists sitting inside.  Stuart was on a game drive with his brother Norman (a very successful Game Ranger) when they stopped beside a pride of lions.  A lioness stalked by so close that Stuart could have touched her, I should remind you that there is no door, the vehicle is completely open.  The lioness' tawny yellow eyes looked straight into Stuarts eyes.  She was probably thinking, "hmmm, I like the canned ones"!
Zimbabwean humor again? Actually no, this sign is for real. There are rules in some places, it is better to obey them.

I was born in Zambia, but that is a story for another day.  I was raised for most of my childhood in Rhodesia which became Zimbabwe.  So I suppose my heart belongs to Zimbabwe, because where you spent your childhood is where your heart is.
Stuart was born in Rhodesia, but spent most of his childhood years in Malawi and then later in Mozambique.  His heart is in Malawi first, followed by Mozambique.
Our kids were born in South Africa, Zimbabwe and the UK.  Their hearts are Zimbabwean.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback.  We have met some here, and their owners are rather suprised to discover that we come from the same place.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a dog breed developed in Southern Africa (Rhodesia). Its European forebears can be traced to the early pioneers of the Cape Colony of southern Africa, who crossed their dogs with the semi-domesticated, ridged hunting dogs of the Khoikhoi. 
In the earlier parts of its history, the Rhodesian Ridgeback has also been known as Van Rooyen's Lion Dogs, the African Lion Hound or African Lion Dog—Simba Inja in Ndebele, Shumba Imbwa in Shona —because of their ability to distract a lion while awaiting their master to make the kill.
source Wikipedia

1 comment:


    well written my dear cousin....... I have recently been in Kariba, check out my pics on the above links.....just loved it. You are so often thought of and prayed for......lots of love to u all xox