Date: 5 May 1999
Mooly Bwanjee (Chechewa, Malawi tribal language),
We are kind of ashamed not to have written this report sooner. It was
such a long time since you heard from us. Of course we have a reason.
We are simply so busy all the time that every time we thought about it
we were really too tired. At this moment it is 22.45 PM, so late again.
I have to start our story in Zimbabwe, which we entered on the 29th
of December last year. We crossed the border at Victoria Falls, coming
from Namibia through a small part of Botswana.
Victoria Falls is a nice small town, which is very busy with tourists
from all over the world. The Falls themselves are beautiful, but if you
ask us to choose between Niagara Falls (USA/Canada), Foz the Iquazu (Argentina/Brazil)
or Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe/Zambia), I think we will choose Foz de Iquazu
to be the most beautiful. The area where you can wander around is much
bigger and more interesting. Next to that the butterflies that are at
Foz are stunning and there is no helicopter flying above your head every
Zimbabwe itself is a great place to go. Because communication is possible,
all peoples (also most of the black people) speak good English and are
very friendly, you really get a good feeling of Zimbabwe. We spent New
Years Eve in Hwange Nat. Park, where at 23.50 PM a pride of lions started
roaring in the distance, as the perfect way to tell us New Year would
be there soon. A black Wildebeest also heard the lions and thought it
to be safer to share our safety at the campsite. He stayed nearby all
From Hwange we went to Bulawayo, one of the few city's
we really enjoyed visiting. The main boulevard through there is huge,
because in the old days the ox-drivers, who had six oxen in front of their
wagons needed to turn their wagons there. Zimbabwe used to be Cecil Rhodes
Rhodesia. In Bulawayo we went to the Railway Museum, where his personal
railway-coach is displayed. When you ask the manager, an old Englishmen
whose eyes start to shine when you talk with him about Cecil Rhodes time,
he will let you go in Cecil Rhodes coach. You may sit on Rhodes chair
at his dinner table and toast on whatever you want, with Rhodes glass,
that shows it's age by the amount of dust that's on it, in your hand.
Both in Hwange and in Bulawayo we enjoyed the company of Germans Karl
and Andrea and their children and of Gunter and Anette, who for a change
in a long time gave us the feeling being on a holiday (we need one right
now as I write this).
In Harare, capital of Zimbabwe, we had to buy new passports at the Dutch
embassy and it happened that the Zim dollar dropped down so fast that
we had to pay additionally when we came to collect the passports one week
later. We still do not agree with them about this, as it was normal that
we paid in advance. You can imagine what both of us thought, having had
to deal with corruption so many times already. We couldn't believe it
when we heard we had to pay more.
In Harare we stayed with friends of friends from South Africa, who again
made it hard for us to leave. We were invited to visit a SOS-Children's
Villages project: The SOS-Maizelands farm near Bindura and planned to
go there a day or two. You guess it right: We stayed a week and had a
wonderful time with Paul and Cathy, Daf (named after the Dutch truck,
because he is as big as one), Elizabeth and little Henry, who would say
"Why?" on anything you told or asked him. We saw how the cotton-plants
at the farms were drowning due to the loads of rain that was falling,
learned how tobacco leaves are dried in dry-houses, drove two off-road
bikes over the muddy-tracks through the farmlands and sailed a nearby
artificial lake on a busboat.
We also joined Daf and Elizabeth to Lake Kariba, the largest man-made
lake in the world, where we went fishing bream and tigerfish. Daf (Dafne
looked up every time somebody called his name) had told us about the monstrosity
of this fish and we were prepared to do the fighting. You can imagine
what happened when monstrous Daf caught a tigerfish not bigger than his
little finger. We had a lovely time.
On we went into Zambia, where we met Peter Fauel for the second time
(we met in South Africa).
Peter, who is head of Multichoice, the company who sells packages of
satellite tv-channels, amongst which the KidsTV Channel that made a program
about our tour and project The World on a Children's Drawing. Peter started
not only with giving us a donation, but also got some other companies
involved in doing the same. We visited 3 schools and an orphanage Kasisi,
where more and more children of parents that died of Aids live. There
is a special warden with very young children that are sick of Aids. It's
a very sad story and we really have a lot of respect for sister Mariola
and the other brave sisters.
On our way to Malawi, in Petauke, we delivered a letter from one of
the schoolteachers we met in Lusaka to his parents, who live on a small
farm. We were lucky to find it, for his directions were like: Go straight
past the petrol station till you see two big trees. Turn left there onto
a small path. The farm was real African, built of self-made stones with
a grass roof. The bathroom outside was made of tree branches and mud and
was so small that we could not stand up straight or turn around without
touching the walls. We stayed overnight in our tent next to the maize,
that grows all around.
The road from Lusaka to the Malawi-border has been improved for 200
kms, but after that it is more a group of potholes with accidentally some
tar in between. We also went to Luangwa NP, but never went in the park
itself for we liked it more to ride the off-road bike of Wildlife Camp
manager Marc around. And we travel a long way on US$ 180,-!