Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Zimbabwe Trip January 2015

 Traveling in Zambia, Malawi, and Zimbabwe it's just unbelievable how the drivers load their buses.  The inside is just as packed as the back and top looks like. 

 We were fascinated by the different skyscrapers in Harare.  Zimbabwe was definitely much cleaner than Zambia.  The border crossing was a test of patience and endurance.  The building was fairly new and both countries used the same facilities and we thought this would be a "piece of cake" but then we found agents would leave for 1 1/2 hours for lunch and leave long lines waiting for their services.  Brother and Sister Paradzai and Elder and Sister Adams were helping us as we were traveling together but it was taking so long we just told them to go ahead.  It took us three hours to get the paperwork done to cross the border.  The Paradzai's and the Adams did go on ahead but they came onto a truck accident and had to wait about 40 minutes for a wrecker to run a cable down the mountain to haul the truck back up.  By the time we all got to Harare, they weren't much ahead of us.  When we arrived it was dark and we didn't know our way around the city so called Kasnos and he came to retrieve the Lost!  We were so appreciative of his help.

 Back L-R:  Elder Sitati, Elder Bingham, Elder Diede (Harare) Elder Adams (SA), Kasnos Paradzai (Manager for Zim, Zambia, Malawi) Thabo Lebethoa (Africa Southeast Area Manager
Front: Sister Bingham, Sistger Diede, Sister Adams

 Elder Joseph Sitati, First Quorum of the Seventy, and serving on the Self Reliance Committee in Salt Lake City, came to Harare to support the Self Reliance Program.  When we found out that he was coming, we requested permission to go to Harare to be instructed by him and Thabo Lebethoa, Manager of the Self Reliance Program for the Africa Southeast Area.  Permission was granted and we were able to travel to Zimbabwe.  We spent 2 1/2 days in meetings with Elder Sitati and our leaders from the Self Reliance team and it was so uplifting and inspiring.  Our hearts were touched and we received more much needed instruction.  Elder Sitati encouraged the leaders and adults of the stakes in Zimbabwe to prepare themselves to be self reliant and to be able to take care of themselves and even be able to serve missions in the future like the senior couples who were in attendance.  We were treated with so much respect and we learned so much.

 Zimbabwe actually has picnic tables for travelers and these donkeys claimed them.
 Traveling in Zimbabwe.  We were headed to Bulawayo where we would stay the night.
 Stopping by the roadside to make our lunch in Zimbabwe.
 We were so excited to see U.S. paper money.  Zimbabwe uses U.S. paper dollars in their country.  However, they don't ever retire them I guess unless they just fall apart and we saw many that looked like they were about there!
 Some areas in Zimbabwe had huge, round rocks mixed right in where farming is going on.  Some places even reminded us of City of Rocks in Idaho.
 We kept passing signs warning us of Painted Dogs and I was hoping to see some but we never did.
 After the meetings in Harare we got permission to take the long way home and travel to Livingstone to see Victoria Falls, which spans both the Zimbabwe and Zambia borders.  There wasn't a lot of water going over the falls this time of year but it still was quite spectacular.  As we walked around the grounds near the falls, baboons were all over.  We were told not to carry any food with us because they will steal it or steal our bags but if we just ignored them, they didn't bother us at all.  They really were quite funny to watch.
Elder Bingham poses in front of the statue of David Livingstone whom the city of Livingstone was named after.  He was the great African explorer who documented the famous Victoria Falls.

 The Falls is quite the sight.  Well worth visiting!

 When the light is just right we could see a full circle rainbow.  We loved that!

 This male baboon just thought this was a pretty comfortable position on his tree limb.  Wish I could relax a little like that.

 Taking a break at the falls.  Elder & Sister Bingham.  We are grateful for our leaders giving us permission to take this little trip.  Africa is a beautiful place to be.

 The bridge in the background carries both vehicles and trains.  It was quite the accomplishment for the construction.

 Crossing from Zimbabwe to the Zambia side we decided to take a river cruise down the famous Zambezi River.

 The cruise was billed as the "Sunset Cruise".  The skies were gorgeous and we thoroughly enjoyed the scenery.

When our boat docked, we were treated to a man who was playing a home-made marimba.  Notice the different shaped gourds underneath.  He really made that marimba sound great.  He invited Elder Bingham to try his hand.  That was a lot of fun.  Pretty creative!