Ok, since I left you with very little information about actually arriving in Zimbabwe and what it has been like in my last post – I’m going to start “Day 2” nearly at the end of “Day 1”.
All I can say is that there is something about “coming home”. Ok, I’m not actually back in my home town quite yet, but being on home soil is a really special feeling. As our plane descended on Zimbabwe and into the Bulawayo airport, you can literally see the difference in lifestyle to what we had just left an hour before. It’s sparse bush everywhere. Now, to all of you ‘non Zimbo’s’ – the kind of bush I’m talking about here is the kind where the trees are packed close together and the grass grows, dry and thick up to your mid thigh. So don’t imagine what you would normally see on the side of the road in your country (I’m talking to my Western Cape, UK and US friends) Savanah grasslands are namely grasslands so that a normal sized Lion can hide perfectly while walking around – that’s the colour, the height and the thickness of it.
Some may find it nothing much to look at, but for me it reminds me of all the cool games we used to be able to play. Hide and Seek was for real and you didn’t even have to run far from the person counting.
Anyway, enough about that – I had my very first bag search. It was interesting because all that came to mind were all of the episodes I’d watched on “Border Security” on DSTV. Ifigured, be honest with these people as much as possible and I’m sure we’ll be ok. Well, needless to say, it worked and we walked through unscathed by any form of fine for unexpected items in our luggage. (They made us open 5 of our 7 bags #slightlystressed)
We go through and there’s my 91 year old grandfather waiting for us with my awesome cousin, Dalene. Yes, you read it right, 91 years old and my kids insisted on being in his car for the ride into town. (Jude responded well to him and was his usual social self – I’m so glad since he had just woken up as we landed)
Anyway, as we were enjoying our greeting and getting into our Zimbo groove, I couldn’t help but notice that there were at least 4 or 5 schools that were obviously having their field trip day, to the airport. All lined up and walking around, observing the airport and the planes and how they came in and out. Now people, I’m not talking about 14-15 year olds – these were cute little junior schoolers. Ranging from about 5 to 12 years old, depending on the group. Everything within me wanted to take a pic of them, but instead I did a sly move and tried a selfie instead to capture what was happening. I don’t think it worked.
Ok, so as a pair of parents (Tim and I) between the two of us we had only had 2 hours sleep since the Thursday morning. That’s being awake for up to 32 hours, with no proper naps. (props to you doctor peeps – you’re machines! and any other profession that requires these ungodly working hours) Tim crashed as soon as we got to the house we were staying at, but I pushed through. While I was “zombie walking” around the house, I happened upon Jude sitting with my grandfather at the dining room table. It was too precious, he had roped my grandfather into doing a puzzle of his that he enjoys. So I took pics of them on the sly – just to capture the precious moment.
It wasn’t until later that evening that I realized that I really needed to get to sleep – so by 9:30 I was out like a light. But before I close the rest of Day 1, let me just brag on my daughters a bit. They were amazing at supper-time. Because I was so tired, I asked them to lay the table at my grandmothers house (we had supper there but stayed with my aunt) and without any argument they went about their job like it was their own home. Placemats, plates, knives, forks, spoons and glasses – all done without any adult supervision. I think my cousin Dustin walked in to have a look and then left them. I was so impressed and extremely proud (partly why I’m telling you about it #mommybrag)
So, because I was so tired I slept most of Saturday morning but Tim decided to take the kids with him to my uncle and aunts’ church. They are Seventh Day Adventist and he felt it would be a good experience for them to be a part of a different way of doing church. I honestly haven’t spoken to them properly about how that all went – but they were happy when they got back, so no negatives happened, I guess.
After a leisurely slow morning it was all systems go for a big family lunch and what a treat that was. The age groups ranged from my little tribe of three children (2,7,9 years old) to 82, 84& 91 year olds. It was incredible to hear the different types of conversation going on. My son was thoroughly enjoying the fact that everyone was watching him and clapping for his little tidbits of entertainment. (he does a robot dance now, it’s honestly too cute-I’m going to try and get a vid of it when we’re back in Cape Town)
During the afternoon, we got to hear some interesting “boy” stories from my Dad and his brother. I honestly would die if those two guys were my sons. I don’t know how my grandparents are still ok. Here are a few of the many stories they told:
- For my father, his brother and his friends, everything was a competition. This one time they decided to see who would be able to jump from the highest point onto the ground. My uncle and the friends jumped from about 3 meters high and felt it was high enough, but my father wanted to show them up and decided to jump from a higher position. They were all jumping from the lower part of the roof but he decided to go to the peak of the roof-to prove he was the “man”. Well, he proceeded to jump and hurt himself so badly that he couldn’t walk and said he felt like his leg bones went into his stomach. He proceeded to cry and told his brother and friends to carry him inside and cover him with a blanket in the room and not tell their parents what happened…….. He lay in bed for about a day. The brothers were asked where he was and they just said he’s resting inside and moved on with their lives……… all I have to say is – you boys, think completely differently to girls. He’s absolutely fine by the way and has had no problems with his legs.
- My father and his brothers used to make Catties (Catapults) for themselves. In order to make the little cushion part where the stone or pebble lays, they would cut the tongues out of their shoes to make them.
- When they were slightly older (9/10) My father and his brother would take their catties on their way to school and then hide them in the bushes before school and then pick them up on their way home, to hunt pigeons. So, there was this electric wire across the front of a church and a pigeon was on it. My Dad aims to shoot and his brothers tell him not to shoot because if he misses, he’s going to hit the church. The ever competitive boy in my father, proceeds to say, “I’m not going to miss”. He shoots and “Murphy’s Law”, he completely misses and hits the church. The security guard runs out and catches my father and takes him inside the church building. My uncle panics and was split between saving his brother and running for help. He decides to run for help. He doesn’t know where they’ve taken his brother so he just tells his parents that “they’ve taken him, they’ve taken him” – they then assume he’s been kidnapped and alert the police. He gets to have his first police ride on the way to the church and find out that the security guard had locked my Dad up in a room and were able to get him. They were then taken back to the police station and given an earful for what they did and that if they were ever to be caught with a cattie again – they would lock them up. Needless to say, my Dad and his brother didn’t touch their catties for about three months after that. Oh wait-my Dad corrected me-three weeks later….. lol
Hectic right? Part of me laughed and the other part was like, “Why didn’t you tell me these things before I had my boy child?” But I would never replace my boy for the world or wish him away – I’m just going to have to manage the stress as he grows up.
The afternoon was an awesome time learning more and more about our family.
But during this whole time, Tim and Aislyn caught a lovely nap on the porch swing together. It was precious and obviously something they both needed.
Then tea time hit – as it does after an awesome lunch. Its a common thing to do in any big family event and so as the treats were coming out – I noticed that there was a different brand of ice cream being served. Ok, since I read up on their website, I’ve come to realise that the have been around for a very long time – but you know when you’re stuck in the bubble of what you know – it’s hard to come out of it. So when my aunt pulled these out – I was both impressed and amazed at the quality and style of the packaging and taste of the contents. Kefalos dairy products will forever be ingrained in my brain, taste buds and stomach. They have an elite side to their brand and then the more common flavours. If you’re ever in a region where they are sold – HAVE SOME!!! and think of me as I drool over the memory of them. I wish I could have had more and more and more of them.
Then at the end of the day, trying to get a toddler to bed in a new place has proven to be an interesting one. So we thought we would kill two birds with one stone. Tim had work that came along with him on the trip, so he did that while he waited for Jude to fall asleep. It worked like a charm and it made for a cool pic