This is our last night in Zimbabwe. Tomorrow we leave early for Zambia and our Gap Adventure. Saturday I farewelled two of my sisters and I felt so sad. It has been such a epecial time getting to know them a little. Soon I say goodbye to Marguerite and Andrew who have been the most gracious hosts. I am not looking forward to the farewell.
Today we went for a drive. I was pleased that Mugabe wasn't out in his motorcade. A German tourist was shot recently because he didn't know that you had to pull over when the motorcade went by. I think we might have saluted.
We headed down the Bulawayo highway. This alone was fascinating. the juxtaposition of traditional and modern is everywhere here. African ladies carrying huge loads on their head with, sleeping infants strapped to their backs in the traditional African way, talking on iphones! Go figure.
Along the highway where BMW's, mercedes, large toyota trucks and clapped out cars travel, people sit on the roadside with small pyramids of tomatoes neatly stacked for sale. There are people trying to sell a few bags of vergetables, the cauliflowers looking very wilted in the heat. They sit all day with their children sleeping or playing at their side. The average wage for an African is $200 USD a month. By African standards they are quite well off in Zimbabwe.
It is Sunday, so white clad religious sects gather along the highway, sitting on the red dusty ground preaching and sharing time together. Groups of these people can be found a couple of hundred metres apart. People in their Sunday best are walking to church, oblivious to the cars roaring past at 120km per hour, which is the speed limit. I note there is no such thing as a WOF here. If there was, half the cars would be taken off the road.
We see large homes, small modest dwellings and hovels with long drops for toilets barely 1/2 kilometre apart. Such contrasting architechture and lifestyles. "This is Africa."
We headed to Kuimba lake, which is very pretty. Motor boat clubs and holiday rentals can be found here. It was so pretty we stopped for a beer (Castle is the popular choice), and had a wander around. We then headed off to the nearby national park hoping to spot a rhino.
Shake rattle and roll is the only way to describe the dirt roads. In the park we came across giraffe, wildebeest, kudu and as we were leaving, three magnificent rhino. I didn't realise they were so enormous. They turned to walk away and I could see they had the same shaped rear as mine! Wide child bearing hips.
Returning through Harare, the scene once again changes quickly. Hawkers at the robots, people calling out their windows at us and omnibuses (the local bus) which are people movers, are packed with as many as 15 people. I imagined the heat and smell might be a bit owverpowering if you were in the back seat.
A watermain had busrt and the precious resource was flowing out onto the road. Infrastructure here is ageing and not being replaced. We had a whole day without power yesterday and had to draw water from the swimming pool. So this is Africa. We are loving it!