Signs of Life.

Forever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

The Bible.

New born baby

New born baby

 

Inca, this puppy had the biggest and most adorable personality but she died just after staying 3 weeks with us. She caught the horrible parvo virus. Soo sad! She loved her sleep, you couldnt wake her up when she decided to sleep!

I find African sunsets come close to filling the void that I have for my love for mountains :D

I find African sunsets come close to filling the void that I have for my love for mountains 😀

 

The great Baobab Tree, I am no ecologist (and please correct me if I am wrong) but these must be Southern Africas largest trees. This one is a medium sized one.

The great Baobab Tree, I am no botanist (so please correct me if I am wrong) but these must be Southern Africas largest trees. This one is a medium-sized one.

 

Whatever it is that they were looking at must have been fascinating.

Whatever it is that they were looking at must have been very fascinating.

 

It doesnt happen often but once in awhile a meerkat takes center stage. This one lapped up all the attention it got!

It doesn’t happen often but once in a while a meerkat takes center stage. This one lapped up all the attention it got!

 

My moms friends grows pineapples in her small garden.

My moms friends grows pineapples in her small garden.

 

In Zambia, these flowers can be seen beautifying peoples homes. In Mozambique these flowers are only used during a funeral. No one in their right mind grows them in their garden unless they are going to be sold at the local cemetary.

In Zambia, these flowers can be seen beautifying people s homes. In Mozambique these flowers are only used during a funeral. Since they are associated with death, no one grows them in their garden unless they are going to be sold at the local cemetery.

 

Some little girls know how to work an Afro!

Some little girls know how to work an Afro!

 

Honey.

My father grew up in a time when our country pledged allegiance to the Union Jack. Growing up, my siblings and I loved hearing his stories of life in an Africa we will never experience. One of 7 children my father spent much of his childhood in rural Africa often walking many kms and crossing streams and rivers to attend school, wild cats roamed free at that time and as a child of 10 one already had to know what to do when confronted by an adult lion. My grandfather was a hardworking man and never hesitated to get his 6 boys involved in farming and hunting from a young age. From my fathers stories him and his brothers mostly looked forward to hunting with my grandfather( and no, they did not walk around in loin cloths). My grandfather was the best hunter in their circles and was well versed in using traps, spears and the occasional rifle.

Zambian Honey

My fathers best hunting memories are not necessarily the chase but finding a beehive, I am yet to meet a person who loves honey like my dad. He has often told us that him and his brothers became very efficient at nimbly climbing tall trees, smoking out the bees and then taking a chunk of a honey comb and eating it right there. For the boys, that was the best treat they could have any day!

Whilst traveling in Zambia in May this year, we came across a number of people selling honey like the man who sold us this honey. He had the best nearly toothless smile and had been standing by the side of the main road arm outstretched with honey in the bark of tree, patiently waiting for a car to stop and buy his goods. My father couldn’t have stopped fast enough to buy as much as he could from this man. As I watched the transaction I couldn’t help but think of my dads childhood and how the methods that he had used to get honey were exactly the same methods that this man had used to get his. It had been over 50 years and yet for a moment it felt like I finally got a chance to experience just a little of my fathers childhood, it made me smile friend.

Reality is, not everything stays the same, change is inevitable, sometimes for the good and other times for the bad. Africa is rapidly changing, in most urban cities many people you meet are breathlessly rushing to leave behind their African heritage and pick up the Western culture. The underlying thought is; African culture is backward, makes me sad. At times change creeps on you without so much as an, “Excuse me I am here!” before you know it, you find yourself scrambling around trying to figure out what just happened and how you fit into the bigger picture or risk getting left behind.

There is wisdom in taking the time to quietly reflect over ones life from time to time, who knows after doing so you may discover how the winds of change have quietly taken you to the land of cowardly compromise. Were you find that ideals you always promised yourself, “on this matter, come what may, I will not cross the line!” you have done so without so much as batting an eyelid. Better a man who stands by his beliefs and ideals even if it means his all alone than one who constantly changes at the drop of a hat to please the crowd, there is no honor in that.

(I am not against Africa developing at all, call me idealist, I just wish everyone did it without looking down on our rich heritage)

Home again!

PicMonkey Collage

We got home on the 2nd of June at 7:30 AM. For the final stretch, my father and I started driving from Saturday at 1:30 PM and continued right through the night until early Sunday morning with only 15-20 mins breaks along the way. What should have taken 3 days ended up being 6 days of travel because of the breakdowns we had(sooo annoying!). I can finally say, ” I am an experienced cross-country driver :D”

Sunrise, Kitwe Zambia.

Sunrise, Kitwe Zambia.

Now, I believe you are expecting pictures of how driving through Botswana, Congo and South Africa went…well, plans changed 😦 The day we entered Zambia fuel prices increased to almost $2 per litre!!! That pretty much put a dent on my parents budget and as we were getting ready to come back they decided to take the same route we had used coming to Zambia to cut down costs(we still covered 6000 kms in total). I was very disappointed but their reasoning was fair, so friend, there is always next time 🙂 Meanwhile let me share with you for the last time some of what I saw on this trip.

market by the road side.

market by the road side.

Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables are sold along the roads. There is something to be said about rural living, I don’t know about other places but at least in Africa you are sure to get fresh produce free from strange chemical sprays!

watermelons anyone ?

watermelons anyone ?

Of all the pictures I took this one below is one of my favorites. I wish the picture could convey the tranquility that was at this spot. Most of the pictures I took were taken as my dad was driving but on this one, he stopped and allowed me to take it. You can’t see clearly but it was a group of mothers and daughters doing laundry, well at least the moms were washing because the little girls were busy playing by the bank. It  almost felt like  I could have walked past this same river 200 years ago and I would have seen the same scene. Sapphire sky, birds chirping, girls laughing and the gentle sound of a river flowing by.

laundry day.

laundry day.

Traveling in the north of Mozambique, we drove by a small area that was demarcated with lots of danger signs because it had landmines. What was most concerning was that this area was right next to the road and close to a village like the one below. Mozambique suffered a 16 year civil war that ended in 1993 but 2o years later its people are still haunted by it. As I drove past, I couldn’t help but thank God that in all the times I had gone off for a toilet break, I had not accidentally stepped on a landmine…something thats not unheard of because my father once picked up a man who had stepped on a landmine and had lost much of his leg. All that was left of his leg as my father rushed him to the nearest hospital was bare bone. It always amazes me how much pain the human spirit can endure!

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A little of this and that:

1Hand made baskets and hat for sale. Fresh unprocessed honey being sold along the road. Sweet potatoes being sold by the kilos. Whilst in North Western Zambia we traveled for about 50 km surrounded by butterflies, the front of our car was covered with them by the time we reached our destination…pretty 🙂

I am not one for adding lots of personal pictures on my blog but once in a while I make exceptions :D, I had a wonderful time meeting up with family that I only get to see every 4-5 years. Below is the last night my sister and I spent with my dads youngest brother and his wife. He is our FAVORITE uncle and I already miss them both so much.

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Goodnight friend, my allergies have got the best of me tonight, can’t stop sneezing, best I drink some tea and head for bed 🙂

 

 

Definitely not ugly!

Call me biased BUT nothing beats an African sunset!

A Zambian sunset!

we spent a night at this quaint little lodge. Nyimba Zambia.

we spent a night at this quaint little lodge. Nyimba Zambia.

Sunrise over the city of Kitwe, Zambia.

Sunrise over the city of Kitwe, Zambia.

My adorable and sassy cousin, Abigail.

My adorable and sassy cousin, Abigail.

sunset, somewhere in Mozambique.

sunset, somewhere in Mozambique.

These flowers line up most of the roads we have traveled in Zambia.

These flowers line up most of the roads we have traveled in Zambia.

Be Prepared!

my dad

It was in 1990 that I was first introduced to road tripping. I was 6 years old when my father decided to stop being a pastor in Zambia and move to neighbouring country Zimbabwe for further theological studies. Naturally he didn’t want to leave us in Zambia for the 3 years he was studying so my mom packed our bags and with her husband and 4 children aged 6,4,2 and 6 months got on a bus and left everyone and everything she knew to go live in a  strange land… have I mentioned I have an incredible mom? 🙂

Now, before your imaginations gets ahead of you, I want to remind you that this was 1990 and luxury buses did not exist in my world at that time. This was our form of transport.

picture compliments of the internet.

picture compliments of the internet.

In the three years we were in Zimbabwe we probably took these bus trips four times a year.

For us kids, moving to a new country, making new friends and learning a new language  was all part of “normal life.” So was: sleeping at open air bus stations; surviving countless hours on bus seats that had hardly any padding; spending hours at the Zimbabwe border as the immigration officers opened every ones suitcases(more than 60 passengers each carrying no less than 2 large suitcases each) and meticulously checking for God knows what. Watching with giddy excitement and laughter as mischievous baboons and monkeys(at one of our stops) would sneak behind unaware passengers and grab whatever they were eating or rummage through their hand bags. Happily spotting out crocodiles and hippos as we cross the Great Zambezi river (notoriously known for it’s over population of crocodiles) not at all bothered by the fact that the ferry we were traveling on had seen better days! I realize now, we never made a fuss because my parents never made a big deal out of anything, what others called “adventure” we knew as “normal life.” For us, mom and dad were happy there was absolutely no need to worry.

Over the years our road tripping has come up with memorable stories, in fact some so wild that my grandma because of worry, refuses to eat or sleep till she knows we are safely in Zambia. We have had all types of problems from our car rolling 3 times down a mountain and all of us coming out unscathed to having a back tyre snap off as my dad drives at 120km/h then seconds later the back part of the car catching fire because of the friction with the road.  Once we were stranded in the bush in Zimbabwe sitting by the roadside waiting for help only to be told by a nervous passing motorist that we had to get back in the car immediately because just a week ago lions had eaten people up at the very spot we were sitting 🙂

It’s not like we go looking for trouble, it’s just we as a family seem to find ourselves in the strangest predicaments. It’s amazing how laughing in such times makes the situation so much more bearable!

So here is a peek to our trip thus far. As kids, our motto has always been, “be prepared for anything!”

That means: being willing to eat anything with a thankful heart, my mother HATES hot dogs or any type of meat that comes out of a can or bottle BUT on trips, she makes an exception.

Zwan hotdogs anyone?

Zwan hotdogs anyone?

being prepared to sleep in the strangest motels or hotels like this one which had a horrible sewer smell and whose sheets had seen better days, we girls now travel with our own travel blankets.

This place STUNK, and my allergies went crazy from all the dust!

This place STUNK, and my allergies went crazy from all the dust!

If you have a weak bladder like mine, be prepared to have the African bush as your toilet…so not fun as I am always paranoid of having a snake biting my behind regions… Oh the joys of being a girl and squatting!

toilet break anyone?

toilet break anyone?

Please don’t get too used to the paved roads because the bad roads WILL come! Sometimes what would have taken 10 mins would stretch for an hour because of the potholes!

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Don’t forget to pack your own fuel because you will definitely run out!

We traveled 600km in Mozambique, with no town or gas station in sight!

We traveled 600km in Mozambique, with no town(just little villages) or gas station in sight!

My mom helping out :)

My mom helping out 🙂

and above all, “it’s not a road trip till the car breaks down!” Please don’t even bother asking me what happened this time, I am hopeless at remembering car terminology. I do know it had to do with the exhaust and the part had to be hand-made because the random mechanic we found didn’t have it. That’s another fun part about traveling here, you meet the most industrious mechanics who almost always have to make whatever spare part is needed.

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my dad pointing at were the problem was.

The just made spare part

The just made spare part

And then ladies and gentlemen, there is the scenery!

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Baobab Tree at sunset. Tete Province Mozambique

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Chambeshi river Zambia

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Manica Province Mozambique

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Inhambane Province Mozambique

I have taken LOTS of pictures and will be sure to post as time goes by. Just so you know, we are still in Zambia.