Trip to Zim

I just got back to Joburg in the very early hours of Tuesday morning after a week away in Zimbabwe with my wife Nothando. In the space of a week we covered about 3,400 kilometres driving to, around and from Zim. After leaving around 5am we arrived in Bulawayo in the late afternoon. We had a great time during the break. During that entire period I had no access to the internet which was fine really. I got to spend a bit of time with family. After more than 2 years since I last went to zim, there was so much catching up to do.  I went to bed well after midnight just chatting with the guys. There is really no place like home! I spent a few days with my in-laws in Bulawayo before proceeding to Harare to see my parents and siblings.

I also managed to do walk around in Harare to get a feel of what has happening. After hearing so much I wanted to see  and experience for myself.  I was very encouraged by what I saw. I am hoping that things will continue to improve. I visited places I used to frequent when I was still in zim and shops, checked out prices and compared with what I might find in South Africa. In several cases the prices were quite similar.  One day I covered a few kilometres checking out the places in town and bumped into several people I knew, mostly from my old school St Ignatius College. On the same afternoon I bumped into Lovemore at a food court along Samora Machel. Interestingly I started talking to Lovemore while in South Africa but we had not been able to meet. All our correspondence was either by telephone or email.  Then we met in Zim!  Like me he was also walking around to get a feel of what was happening in Harare.

Earlier on in the trip there was no problem in getting unleaded petrol for the car but later on it proved to be a hassle and we just used what we could find. Driving back we tried to use up all the leaded fuel we had in the tank  before refueling with the recommended unleaded fuel.  I am just so grateful that the trip went very well without any incident. I forgot to check the spare tyre for pressure and just hoped there would be no need to use it.

We were in Bulawayo, Harare, Sanyati and came to South Africa via Bulawayo. I enjoyed seeing the places along the way and have a better appreciation of the places in my country.  I had never driven to Harare before from Bulawayo. I made a brief stopover in Kadoma. It was really great seeing my great, grandmother Mbuya Mutetepa in Sanyati and she was delighted to meet Mrs Mubayiwa. I will treasure those memories for the rest of my life. She gave me her entire collection of old zim notes including a number of  billion dollar and million dollar denominations.

The potholes I had dreaded so much before the trip were not as bad as I thought. The highways into the towns and cities had considerably fewer potholes than the smaller roads in the towns. Driving to Cranborne one afternoon, I hit a very bad pothole. The car in front, in the fast lane for that matter, was going very slowly and I did not see the pothole at all.  While I trying to figure out why someone was driving so slowly in a fast lane I went right into the pothole.  My poor brother Tadiwa who had to endure my fit of rage!  I was very upset after that incident but felt much better after a visit to my friend Miles and a few games of rapid chess. Fortunately there was no visible damage to the tyres. We minimised driving at night.

Some friends came to our aid when we really needed help in Zim with one or two things. We had totally underestimated how much it would cost to be in Zim for a week. I was really out of touch with prices. Just about everything is charged in US dollars and some things in rands like busfare.  A friend in need is a friend indeed.

Unfortunately I was unable to see several people in zim and a few friends were quite upset about this. Hopefully I will make up on the next trip. I am already planning for the next trip to zim and very much  looking forward to it.

Author: Bruce Mubayiwa

My key interests and passions are Chess, Technology and Writing. I am the founder and editor of Africa Chess Net. My goal is to get more people playing chess in Africa.

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