The first thing is the heat.
Followed by the smells.
Breathing in the African air, the warmth and depth of a myriad of harmoniously clashing scents.
It feels like coming home.
The rainy season is late, it is only just beginning. A short shower and the intensity of fragrance from the warm dusty road and the vegetation erupts.
Of course there’s a well used Toyota Hilux or two. We pass signs warning of the local wildlife that may cross the road. Perhaps impala, painted dogs, and even elephants, we didn’t observe these, only the road signs with their simostic silhouetted images. We see a few cattle and some donkeys lazily grazing by the side of the road. Baboons entertain, climbing over a parked truck and running through the large plastic pipes it carries as it’s cargo.
Immediately the pace of life slows down. There are queues for queues. We become the target for the guys selling copper bracelets and Zimbabwe dollars. We stand. Waiting. Another form. Another queue. Another check. There is no rush.
Across the border in Zambia we see the first flashes of lightening, the sky is thick with darkening cloud and rain fall, and the thunder cackles and rumbles across the Zambezi towards us.
The showers come and go until finally the rain pours. The breeze interrupts the heat. The earth is a beautiful red. There are people lingering, calling out to friends, smiles, laughter, handshakes, no one apparently doing anything just milling around.
There is so much to learn from this beautiful country; from this wonderful continent. These are not places nor people to conquer but from whom we need to take note and learn to live.
It’s 24 hours since I got on the bus for the first leg of this journey and at least six more hours since I slept. Yet, all my senses fly, I am alive.