Civilisation again

Trip Start Apr 10, 2006
Trip End Jul 24, 2006

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Flag of Zimbabwe  ,
Sunday, April 23, 2006

James and Janine had kindly invited me to stay at their homestead for the final day of my stay, a fabulous self built farm in the middle of the bush.

I caught up on some sleep, had a wonderful bath, did some admin;emails and my log, and met Kimba, their adopted 11 month old elephant, who had been orphaned in South Africa until Janine had come to the rescue.

Kimba is an absolute darling, a real tinker, getting up to all sorts of mischief, but with a coy smile; just like my youngest daughter Mica, she'll get away with murder!.

My hosts, had invited a couple of their old friends; John and Phillipa over to Dinner, which was a real treat. They were one of just two farmers left out of an original 35 in the region, and I got a real perspective on the problems and issues facing them and the country. They were wonderfully, non-racist, pragmatic and consigned to living the rest of their days, drawing and re-drawing the line by which they live by. I could see why they would never leave Zimbabwe, although many have. It is a beautiful, majestic country, with sincere, and wonderful people. It is a country rich in resources, from precious metals to iron ore and coal, with incredibly fertile lands which once produced among other things enough tobacco to make it the second largest supplier in the world, and above all potentially; completely self sufficient. Children used to be educated in schools run by the local farmers and there were also doctors surgeries and an abundance of supplies for all. Jobs were plentiful, but now even the basics are hours away, electricity supply is sporadic and the people are moving back towards their original tribal subsistent lives - but as John pointed out- maybe this is how the local peoples are meant to live, unable to mentally cope with a modern world. Time will tell.

The trip back to Harare was uneventful, but James and Janine, kindly took me to their home in Harare, for some R&R and then on a trip around the various neighbourhoods, stopping off at a good friend's home for a coffee (well beer actually), before dropping me off at my lodgings.

You could not hope to meet a nicer couple, and if you are ever thinking about a trip to Africa you would be a fool to firstly, miss out on Zimbabwe, and secondly not to book a Varden safari. I know I sound like a bit of a sales rep here, but the trip I have just had is going to be hard to beat for so many reasons, but probably most of all because I have made some new fantastic friends, I will miss their company - and you just can't better that.
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