Our hearts were certainly in our stomachs as we crept along. It began with a sense of tension that we could feel from our driver and the team leaders of our trip.
Baboons run and climb around all over the place (though not in the lion enclosures) looking for food and being a nuisance. I am particularly found of the Galapagos Tortoise named Tommy who, we are informed, is estimated to be around 340 years old.
We drive onwards through the rain. Our driver is from the Harare area and is there able to talk a little about the places we pass. I am struck at one point when he points to an area that looks like an area that is simply a natural area of trees and vegetation. Our driver says that this was a farm that grew Gum Trees, they produce naturally straight poles which are used to construct houses. It is perhaps the first time I have knowingly seen such a farm, the result of the land appropriation of the early 2000's resulting in the exodus of white farmers.
The singing is great, only this time we are required to dance when our name is called. It is a somewhat embarrassing experience, though fun, I am pleased that none of us are famous enough to warrant TV crews who will share footage far and wide. It is enough to say, white folk can't dance!
Whilst I am interested in buildings, it was not the most enthralling visit. The new offices will be substantial in size and I suspect and very nice place in which to work and meet. I was however, most interested in the construction process and the almost sculpture like wooden scaffolding winding around the building and providing a wooden ramp from the ground to the roof.
I wonder about the history before Rhodes, but this is a history almost destroyed by the era of colonisation and post-inpendence. I'm concerned that only looking back to the days when Zimbabwe was apparently known as the breadbasket of Africa will not bring the answers Zimbabwe needs.
Onwards we travelled for a further 2 hours. More time to close my eyes and rest. As I became more accustomed to my seat I think I did manage to doze off on this occasion for a few moments. I would wake as we stopped for the usual road blocks of cattle, goats and police or occasionally as our driver braked behind a vehicle, unable to overtake because of the traffic (usually a truck) heading in the opposite direction.
He also left me with the question, “what is the face of the church?” At the moment I am unsure. I am not sure that the Church is a positive reflection of Jesus. It may well be a body that is broken and beaten but not necessarily from the doing of others but of self harm and self abuse.
It is great to hear the music, the sound of a few simple instruments and the beauty of the singing.
Lesson 16: Paying a bride is part of the way of life. Lesson 17: Get away from the tourist areas. Lesson 18: Learn from the locals. Lesson 19: Take a safari and prepare to see nothing but look out for everything.