There were many things we saw and did while living in Zambia and Kenya that were hard to process – even head on; even when fully present. It was as if the actuality dial in one’s brain kept sliding out of tune, sparking dissonance: am I here or am I simply observing myself here, courtesy of an imagined translocation from the pages of some hyper-real travelogue. I mean to say, how could I possibly be taking a sundowner boat ride up the Zambezi. How had I come to this place where I never expected to be?
We were living in Lusaka, Zambia, at the time. That posting had been unexpected too, notice given only on the day we exited Kenya after ten months there. Suddenly Graham was on another short-term attachment, this time to the EU Delegation, managing the distribution of food aid to drought-stricken villages. Then one day an old school friend, en route from the UK to New Zealand, wrote suggesting he and partner make a visit, but he could only get incoming flights to Harare. OK said G. We’ll drive down and pick you up.
And so began a fantastic make-shift safari – out of Zambia into Zimbabwe – crossing the border (and downstream Zambezi) at Chirundu then heading south for Harare. Then on further south through Masvingo to Great Zimbabwe. After that a loop west and north through Bulawayo, the Matopos and Hwange National Parks and back to the Zambezi and the Zambian border at Victoria Falls. And so one evening we found ourselves on a sundowner cruise, ambling upstream between Zimbabwe and Zambia. But then again perhaps that wasn’t really me.
I couldn’t end this final ‘up’ post in Becky’s inspiring month-long challenge without a downstream view too. Look out! Here we go – up and over the knife edge – Victoria Falls – Mosi-oa-Tunya – The Smoke That Thunders. Way-haaaaay…
Square Up #31 A big big thank you to Becky for helping to keep our spirits up all through January