January 12, 2013 GMT
Zam, Bot & ZA


The South Loop

Iíve headed south, out of Kenya and through Tanzania. Now I am in Zambia by Victoria Falls. Last year we rode a portion of Zambia but this year I came in from the north and saw much more of the country. North of Lusaka, (capital), I started seeing some large modern farms growing corn, soybeans, tomatoes and some other crops.

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Zambian Farm

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First train I have seen moving, to the north most tracks looked unused

After the colonial powers pulled out many of the white decedents moved out of the country. But many of the farmers stayed. Also some of the farmers that were evicted from Zimbabwe came north and set up farms here. Hopefully these farms will hold on and serve as examples to others on how the land can be farmed.

Zambiaís arable land base is tremendous, they could become a major producer and exporter of agricultural products. This will require a change in the tribal control of the land and a change in the culture of the people. Iíve wondered why in the USA the farm laborers that come in from Mexico but by the third generation they are running their own farms and businesses but here I do not see the drive enter the economic system. Some would argue that we should be content with the locals living like they have for the last thousand years but that would also mean the economy would not produce enough to provide quality heath care or education. You can not have part of the modern world without taking all of it.

Been dodging the rain with little success. Coming south to Victory Falls area I hit a torential down pour and finally pulled off in a village and huddled under a roof with the locals till it had passed. But on the road again I determined it was headed the same way I was so I ended up riding 50 Km in a group of 3 cars and me with flashers on so we could see each other. Got to Livingstone soaked to the bone but was never cold.

At the falls I went in to see how much deference it made in flow with the rain we were having. Was defiantly more coming over the falls than last year but you could not see as much due to mist. The next morning I took the ferry across the river to Botswana.

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Bunge from the bridge

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Victory Falls

We traveled this road last year but I was still amazed at all the elephants. I think they get use to the cars but motorcycles they donít know about so several times when I would stop to watch them they would snort, stomp and flap their ears at me, always keep it in gear in case they charged I would have a shot at escape. Spent the night at Nata Lodge camping, can recommend this spot as it was very nice.

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Ellys

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More Ellys

Then on south to Gaborone. Botswana appears to be on par with South Africa economically, neat modern towns and cities. After all the boarder crossings in the last few weeks it was a shock to see the modern facilities when I went out of Botswana and into South Africa. I did have to spend quit a bit of time on the South African side as they had to hunt down someone who knew how to fill out the Carnet for the motorcycle.

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On the road

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Camp at Nata Lodge, they had a swimming pool that really felt good

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Bot border post, what a change

In South Africa I first wanted to get the biked serviced and a couple of issues fixed. So I headed to Speed Bike in Klerksdorp. On the way I stopped in a small town market to get something to drink. I noticed a lady looking at the plate and on my way out she said I should follow her to the farm and have a rest. There are some really nice farms in this area and I was wishing I could get a better look so I followed her to their farm. Had a great time and even was able to do some laundry. The next morning I rode around the farm with Boxer as he checked out things before the crew got there, once the crew was lined out we had breakfast and I got back on track to Klerksdorp. Martie gave me the address of her daughter in California and a son in Gauna with instructions to stop if I get to that part of Africa someday. Having white children moving out of South Africa has become all to common and is going to do great harm to the country if the black government can not change the discrimination.

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Checking out the farm

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Garden by Boxer and Martie's house

After getting the bike serviced I decided I had enough time to head west and see more of the Northern Cape. I ended up at Augrabies Falls National Park. From here I head back to Jberg and line up shipping with enough time to head into the hill for a few days.

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Augrabies Falls, from the top end

In the previous post I had pictures of the Childrenís Center, I got the following email from Paul that really show how hard life can be sometimes:
Hello Robert,

Thank you for your email and the time we shared at Fursa. Recently I
had my friends from Germany here in Isiolo, therefore did not reply
straight away.

Also I have found an orphan boy who was dumped under the tree with
multiple bone fractures.
He is 10 years old who was climbing the tree and fall down. I was told
that children often collect the leafs that help mangos and bananas to
ripen faster. The make as little as 10 Kenyan Shillings if they lucky
to sell them.

Unfortunately he fell down and injured himself badly. He was taken to
the hospital in Isiolo but only to found the staff on strike. Then
people took him to Missionary Hospital in Kiirua, which is about 40 km
away from Isiolo.

He did not receive help over there as hospital staff asked to put
deposit of 50,000 Ksh, so they boy was send back to Isiolo hospital.
Upon the arrival to Isiolo he was dumped by the doctors nearby my home
where I found him surrounded by neighbors.

I did take the boy with the protest of 250 people to District
Commissioner where we demanded investigation.

Now the boy is in hospital where he went 5 operations and is
recovering. He will remain in the hospital for another two months. I
have already decided to admit him to Fursa when he is discharged.

As you see there is always something going on and often kids are the
ones who suffer.

How about you, where are you know and what are your plans before you
fly back home?

Posted by Robert Thode at 12:51 PM GMT
 


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