Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Weddings, croquet, and waterfalls

Its funny the difference in Harare and Bulawayo. The “Harare-towners” think Bulawayo is just a sleepy little town. Which by comparison, it is. Harare is a large, fast paced town with a ton of different restaurants and bars and shopping centers, etc. "Bulafoofoo" has enough decent restaurants to count on two hands, and about 2 bars that everyone goes to on the weekends. But that means that you are always planning things whether it be in town or somewhere close by. It’s a quaint feel. Even as small as it is, it seems there is always something going on. Polocross, rugby, birthday parties, weddings. And if there isn’t, we make something happen. And you can always guarantee people will show up because they all love to get together, whether it be a chill Sunday afternoon “braai” (BBQ), or a big party. And I love how is always involves being outdoors. Don’t get me wrong I love a lazy movie-marathon Sunday as much as the next person, but it’s nice to get out and do something. Even if it’s just down the street. 

So recap of some of the things we’ve been getting into on the weekends:
First weekend back we went to a beautiful wedding. It was at this place called Nesbit Castle. And it literally is a castle. Built by some German when the country was being colonized. Right in the middle of town but you'd never know it. It felt like I was in Robin Hood. Just a canopy of trees everywhere, perfect weather, good music, nice food, and experimental dance moves…

Cu and I as per usual hit the dance floor running, and kept it up all night. Even after a minor set-back…
I won’t go into detail but let’s just say some dance moves are meant for professionals only. Its been about a month now and I’ve still got a sore neck. In Cuan’s defense it was my idea to have him flip me upside-down, he didn’t want any part of it. I’m just lucky we decided to do it on the grass… 

I didn’t bring my camera to the wedding but I’ve stolen a few photos from the Cozim Functions Facebook page so you can get an idea of the setting. Absolutely beautiful. 

 The following weekend we had nice croquet session with afternoon burgers and Gin&Tonics at Johan’s house. First time I’ve ever played and I may need a little bit more practice. Came in last out of five people. Womp woooomp. Still fun to try new things! 

(Burgers and G&T's... Cuan makes a mean G&T, and by "mean" I mean sooooo nice!)

(Croquet isn't my sport... yet.)

 Sunday of that weekend was the best day. We went out to this place called Lumene Falls, just an hour or so out of town.. And boy did we have a crew. Cu and I rode his new(ish) motorcycle out there and the caravan followed. I think it was 4 full vehicles and 3 more motorcycles in tow all together. Once we got to rough dirt roads I hopped off the bike and got in a truck and Cu grabbed a more off-road bike to finish the trip. There were a bunch of little kiddos with us as well. Two of whom also rode little motorcross bikes to the falls. So Cu and a friend Alan rode with them the rest of the way.

This place was so different from any other place I've been to in Zim. It reminded me a lot of home with a bit of a different backdrop. But just going out t o the river, (we brought tubes, although most of them busted from being too blown up... yikes!) and floating, grilling and enjoying the day reminded me of a nice weekend in Louisiana! The actual falls were about a mile from where we set up our little camp and you could only get there on foot. But it was an amazing walk. The rocky mountainous scenery around us was breathtaking. You know, it reminded me of the oasis where Timone and Pumba live in the Lion King! :)  

It was really a dramatic buildup as we were walking because you could hear this waterfall, giant roars of rushing water, but you couldn't see anything! We followed the sounds all the way up the side of the mountain until we finally found it! Man, was it worth it. It was like 10 waterfalls in one area. It started waayyy up the mountain would have a beautiful fall.. then the rocks leveled out into a little pool, but then it kept going to another fall and another little pool, and another fall and another pool. Maybe not ten but there were at least four!, all the way down to the bottom. We spent an hour or so out there before our food clock kicked in and everyone headed back for lunch and more floating. It was a really nice day all together. 

Even our walk to the falls was eventful: We met some four-legged friends walking the same path, passed the beautiful landscape of mountains and forest, then we finally made it!

Such an exciting day! -- caught a shot of a little guy hiding in the tree

The next few weekends we took it pretty easy, aside from one big party at the house. It was supposed to begin in the afternoon, but didn’t get started until a few hours past our original time, therefore lasted way into the night. Lots of grilling, pool games, and of course music and dancing. 

It didn’t take long for us to want to go back out the Lumene falls. We are trying to get the most out of it while the weather is warm and the water is flowing. So we planned a camping trip! Similar set up and crew as before, except this time it was my turn to ride the bike. Once we got off the main road, Cu and I unloaded my little 250cc and it was time to test out my memory from 2 years ago… Just like riding a bike right?? Ehh sort of. 

Starting off is the hardest part. You don’t want to floor it but at the same time if you don’t give it some juice you have no balance and the bike will fall. So once I kicked it into first gear and got going I didn’t want to stop. So I kept going! Cu hopped in the truck and followed me the 45 minutes or so all the way to the falls. And I didn’t fall off once! The last mile or two stretch is pretty rocky and super sandy so I was a little nervous. But like Cu told me as long as you keep your momentum up, shift it to a low gear, then (to quote from a great motorcycle movie The Worlds Fastest Indian...) "bob’s your uncle!"

It was taking forever to try to load this video onto the page, the pains of Zimbabwe internet... so here's a quick clip of me in motion! Don't make fun, I'm just a beginner... http://youtu.be/9wTg2uYwT6U


Watch out for the donkeys!

 We set up camp at the bottom of a smaller waterfall right on the sandbank. Spent the afternoon sunbathing and swimming until the rest of the group showed up. Then it was time to set up tents. I assumed Cuan had a decent tent, at least one the size of our Alaska trip tent. Well.... The tent was juuust big enough to fit a TWIN size blow up mattress. I literally could pick it up with my pinky. It looked especially tiny next to the surrounding tents towering over us. But hey, a tent is a tent.

Fun in the sun!

 The evening was passed sitting around the fire roasting marshmallows and sharing stories, maybe even a ghost story or two just to keep it old school. I still need to teach these people what a s’more is though. Its tough when they don’t really even know what a Hershey bar is!! But the marshmallows were still just as delicious as I remember. The next morning we explored more of the river before heading back to Bulawayo! Didn’t ride the bike back because, ahem, Cu may or may not have misplaced the key... but it was found after we got back home and unpacked.

 And that's just a summary of our weekends! I think now I am mostly caught up.. which was my goal. Posts after this one will probably not be quite so long, but hopefully more frequent.Or I can make them just as long if you want! - typing up this stuff is my favorite. 

Until next time friends! 


  1. Leslie! Looks like so much fun. Flint sent me this link to check it out. Glad to see you are having a blast. Tell Cu to pump some iron before the next wedding so he doesn't drop you. Can't wait to get there in August. Save some fun for us!

    Talk soon!

    Adam and Meg

    1. So excited that you are coming Adam!! I promise there is much more fun to be had you better be ready.

      We'll work on the dance moves, but I might just keep it simple next time...

      Can't wait to see you guys!