...and so ends our time in Zimbabwe. We've experienced so much in the past weeks...the noise, bustle and congestion of the city of Mutare and particularly the area of Sukubva where we walked with care workers. Not since our Oshoek trip have I felt such warm friendship right away as I did in Sukubva. I will really miss the care workers there...they are honestly so fun and beautiful and friendly. I felt at home right away. It was a great start to our time here. I'm thankful that Priscilla and a few of the care workers will be travelling with us to Zambia for celebrations, otherwise it would be incredibly hard to leave tomorrow.
We also experienced the Honde Valley in all its beauty - dark nights filled with the sounds of forest and jungle and rivers, days of hot sunshine and trekking through the mountainside trails to sit in rondawels and feel like we've gone back in time. The care workers here too are beautiful feet on the mountains and made us feel so welcome. Our last few days here in Mutare, we've all been hit hard by some stomach issue...that keeps coming at us, day and night. Hopefully we've seen the last of it as we've tried to sanitize anything we drink or eat from, to the best of our ability. We spend a day in the Bvumba Mountains yesterday, driving through some of the most amazing views imaginable - from aging thatched roof cottages, to multimillion dollar golf courses, to abandoned botanical gardens and graveyards turned sales displays of the gorgeous stone carvings indigenous to this region. We bought what we could carry - thwarted by the fact we must fly home. A gorgeous stone carving by a roadside artist that would cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars at home, stand dust covered and languishing on roadside turnouts on what used to be busy tourist routes.
We have loved our time here. We love the family we have been sharing a home with and we'll miss the girls...Rumbizai, Precious and Shamah. Mildred and Farai and Farai Jr. are also travelling with us to Zambia so we don't have to say all our goodbyes yet.
Zambia awaits. It feels like a homecoming to me. I crave time in Mulenga. I can't wait to see the care workers there that I love so much, or the children I miss daily since I left. I can't wait to introduce the boys to Kennedy and Jackson, or to hold Eva or have nshima with Elizabeth and Nkosi. I'm excited that my friend, Cathy, from Saskatoon will be there when we arrive along with lots of friends from S. Africa and DRC and Malawi that are also making their way there. I'm not sure what our next weeks will look like but know this - this is the stuff that dreams are made of. A dream that started a few years ago when I woke up in a shanty in Mulenga and knew there was no way I could explain it all to my boys...and then I began to dream of them coming with me. Some people dream far more glamorous dreams but for me, this is one dream I can't wait watch become reality.
So, thank you Zimbabwe for welcoming us and keeping us so well. We <3 you.