Friday, March 8, 2013

Well it Only Took me a MONTH

Its been a long time coming...

Well I’ve been on African soil now for a MONTH and have yet to start this blog I kept talking about! I know, shame on me..  I think it’s the build up. When I think too hard about what I want to say, nothing comes out. So I’m just writing. Like I did all those emails to Mom and Dad and Linds and Laur last time I was here in the Motherland. 

Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. 

The trip over was…. Long. After a total of 18 hours of flying, a series of extreme layovers (12 HOURS in Germany and another 8 in Johannesburg)  and a considerable amount of excess and overweight baggage fees, we finally landed in Zimbabwe! After that trip I think we both decided not to choose the absolute cheapest option. It was exhausting. But we managed to arrive in one piece with ALL of our luggage (including Cuan’s 2 “suit cases” AKA ice chests, aka cooler boxes for you ZImbos).. an absolute miracle. Despite my first real struggle with jet lag, we had a great welcome home from all the friends and family in Harare. 

First impressions of being back? Honestly is was almost as if I had never left. Everything came back to me like it was yesterday. The smells, the people, and more or less the native language Shona.
One thing that did slip my mind, was despite the economy and corruption, Zimbabweans are an overwhelmingly happy people. You can see it in the faces of the local children  in their little uniforms walking home from school, skipping and laughing all the way. In the guys selling “mealies” (version of roasted corn on the cob) on the side of the road. These people who seem to have a more challenging life than we can even imagine are completely content in the way they live. It’s inspiring. And of course the friends I left a year and a half ago, along with some new faces could not have been more welcoming upon my return. That is one of the most addicting things about this country. The people I met on my last journey over have such positive attitudes and love their country so much, you get wrapped up in it and cannot help but love it too. 

So English is the spoken language of everyone in Zimbabwe, which makes it a nice transition for me (although some tend to struggle with my accent…) But Shona is the 2nd language, and first to most all of the locals in the northern part of the country. So to be able to speak it is not a necessity, but it benefits you in many situations. I’m lucky that Cuan speaks it fluently, so maybe I’ll be able to pick up on it. So far I haven’t gotten much past “Good Morning” (Monguanane) and “How are you” (I’m not even going to attempt to write that one down, I know I will butcher the spelling…), but it’s a work in progress. 

One more thing about the people. They. Love. To. party. So what better excuse than the return of Cuan and the “American” as well as a birthday all in one night??! Squirrel and Cat Meredith, Cu’s dad and stepmom and our grateful hosts, threw a lovely gathering at their beautiful and recently remodeled home. Lasagna and mopane worms were on the menu and the drinks flowed like water. (yes, real worms. Found in the local Mopane trees. Considered a delicacy by some Zimbabweans and disgusting by others) My opinion? A little crunchy, but nice in the delicious mushroom sauce Cat prepared them in. I’ll try anything once.

And then the dance party began. I instructed what I believe will be the first of MANY line dancing lessons and got to dance with my favorite dance partner. Even after a year and half apart, Cu and I managed to pick back up on it! (or so I felt, nevermind the opinions otherwise…)

                                                                              (Ah, the infamous Mopane Worms!)

                                          (Steve Bristow's birthday celebration!, good to see old friends, and dance partayyyy!)

                                                                            (Catherine's beautifully remodeled outdoor living space!)

 So after a nice few days in the capital, we loaded up our lives yet again and made the scenic drive down to "Bustling" Bulawayo…. 

Until next time friends! More to come I promise!


  1. Did you eat those worms, Les?!?!?! Do they taste like chicken? haha

  2. Love reading your life's journey!

  3. hey maddie missing you so so much wish i was with you enjoying school lots
    love you erinxxxx

  4. hey maddie missing you so so much wish i was with you enjoying school lots
    love you erinxxxx