Saturday, January 12, 2013

Happy New Year 2013


On NY Eve we had a full day at work and only got home about 7 p.m. exhausted and ready for this year to end!  The church at Chidamoyo had a church service that started at 8 p.m. and then they had a movie and at 12:00 fireworks went off.  I had gone to bed at 10:30 p.m. as we were leaving on a long trip at 4 a.m. the next morning, so I jumped out of bed when the fireworks went off—thinking bombs were hitting us! They were loud!  Major ran into the kitchen from his bed thinking something exploded!  The crowd loved them!

At 4:28 NY Day the Mereki family (Major, Patience, Michael and Carolyn) and I left for a family vacation in Zambia and Malawi.  On the way to the border with Zambia we were stopped at a police roadblock.  Roadblocks are common occurrences here and you always wonder if they want to see your driver’s license, your insurance papers, and your radio license— whatever.  This was a first for me—he needs change for a $20! He had charged another guy $10 and the guy only had a $20.  I told him to increase the price of the ticket—and then gave him change and we were on our way!

We drove the first day from Chidamoyo to Chipata, Zambia—almost 900 kms. We drove through the capital of Zambia, Lusaka and then straight East to the Zambia/Malawi boarder.   We arrived at 9 p.m. in time for dinner and falling into bed.  The next morning we were eating breakfast at 7 a.m. and on our way to Lake Malawi!

We drove another 400+kms to a resort called Makokola Retreat right on the shores of Lake Malawi.  We spent a couple of hours in LLongwe (the capital) on our way through and arrived by 5:30 p.m.  We had rooms a few feet from a beautiful beach on the shores of Lake Malawi.  All meals, drinks and water activities were included.  So for the next 4 days and nights we swam in the lake, canoed, swam in the pool, played games, read, napped and just relaxed.  We went one afternoon into a local town to buy some beautiful cloth they make in Malawi.

Then we decided to try and drive back in one day as Carolyn needed to get to school!  We left at 4 a.m.  and got to the Zimbabwe boarder at 9 p.m. the same day, only to find out that the boarder closed at 6 p.m.  We spent the night at the border in a shack of a “hotel”.  It was so hot in the room they gave us they finally brought a fan with bare wires they stuck in the plug.  We prayed we would not have a fire all night!  Then it started to rain and there were so many holes in the roof we didn’t need to leave our bed to take a shower! We finally got up and left by 6 a.m. to clear boarders.  We were home by 10:30 a.m.  We unpacked had lunch and I went to work for the rest of the day and Major and family left for Harare to get Carolyn in school.   They went over the dirt road twice in less than 4 hours-ouch!

Wherever we went as a family people asked Major who is that white lady with you and his answer is always “She is my sister.  Same Father (God) different mothers!”

We had a wonderful time—saw a lot of land and scenery and enjoyed a lot of laughs and fun together as a family.  We are all exhausted but happy to have the time away.

Last night I spent the evening taking down the Christmas decorations in the dark.  There was no electricity since Sat and it came back for 6 hours and out again since then.  We had another big rain storm—so can’t seem to have both electricity and lights at the same time-ha!  Let’s keeping hoping this will be a better year for Zimbabwe and our hospital!

Major and Michael trying on Malawi hats

 Patience and Major on the beach
 Transport system in Malawi--carrying firewood to market
 Lusaka, capital of Zambia
 Major and Patience enjoying the beach
 Major and Michael canoeing on Lake Malawi
 Carolyn and Michael on their peddle bike on Lake
Pool in front of beach at Makokola Retreat
 Mereki family in Chipata, Zambia
 Our beach rooms at Makokola, Retreat, Malawi
 Carolyn and Mike running on the shores of Lake Malawi
Michael, Kathy, Carolyn and Patience in Lake Malawi