Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Zimbabwe Memories

Now that I’ve started taking this trip down memory lane I find there are so many more things I want to remember! Things peculiar to Zimbabwe that only a Zimbabwean would understand and either laugh at or cry at. Like going on my bicycle down to the shops and buying marshmallow fish or a fredo for a tickey or a packet of Willards chips that “make music in your mouth” – tomato sauce was my favourite. And then there was chicken flings, Cashel Valley Baked Beans – “we are, we are, can’t you see, the best baked beans in Zimbabwe!” That funny pseudo French man who sang “Have a nice day with Bon Marche!” Being lifted up by Tanganda Tea, and in the intermission at the Movies – “Get yourself an Ice Cream Now!!!” Sandaks, those funny plastic shoes that everyone wore! Biltong, beersticks, borewors and melktart of course, the best ingredients for a braai. That wonderful ZimSun Ad “ooooohhhhh won’t you stay just a little bit looooonger, ooooohhh please, please stay”. The smell of Lifeboy soap or Dettol!

I remember going and spending hours in the sun at the Mount Pleasant swimming pool and being too scared to jump off the really high diving board! Riding my bicycle everywhere, hating my horrible, blue school uniform – remember having to wear garters with your socks! Manual labour and the prefects study – a place where I spent way too much time on a Friday afternoon! I remember when it rained the ditches on the sides of the road would be full of water, at least 3 feet deep and we would go splashing in these huge puddles of water with the steamy smell of rain all around us! Remember the fruit trees in your garden?! Guavas, mangos, naartjies, plums, avacados (if you can call avos fruit), I remember our avocado trees used to have so many avos on them that they would fall and rot on the ground. Now I have to pay a dollar for an avo and they are teeny, tiny things! We had granadillas climbing along the fence, gooseberries, dustyberries, Mexican apples – I could go on and on. And the flowers!! Jacaranda trees, flamboyants, beautiful golden acacia trees and the heady smell of frangipane flowers. Do you remember the cosmos flowers growing wild in the vlei or along the road, and the balancing rocks on the way to Nyanga. Wow! What wonderful memories we have, surely we were the most blessed of people to be raised in Zimbabwe!

My Africa

This is a really tough one - what to put as my very first blog? Shouldn’t it be something really inspiring, something that would make you want to keep reading?!!! Hmmm…… We may have to leave the inspiring for later! Perhaps I’ll start with a little bit about me. Altho’ I was born in Canada my parents moved to Zimbabwe when I was still a young baby and I lived there for 31 years! Zimbabwe was just the BEST place to grow up in - no snow for one thing!! It was a place where I saw stunning sunrises over Kariba, the majestic mountains of Nyanga, the thundering water at Victoria Falls, elephants in my back yard, forest fires in the vlei, old men playing checkers outside the Pendennis shops with coke tops, flowering trees in every colour, I remember sitting in our Mexican apple tree and eating apples until my tummy was sore and the juice dripped down my chin - where you go to sleep at night with the sound of African drums beating in the field next door. I miss the smiling black faces, the smell of long awaited rain, going down the Gwebi on a tube, walking in the bush. I miss Zimbabwe.

A couple of things have really defined my life - Africa, marrying the man of my dreams, my two beautiful children and meeting my Saviour. Funnily enough I met Jesus when I was very young, about 7 years old and walked with Him. When I reached my teens I ran from Him!! My very independent spirit said I could do it on my own!! I made MANY mistakes, some sad ones, some hard ones, some defining ones. Finally - when I was about 28 - the Lord got my attention and even though I am still so independent that was when the best years of my life began!! Walking with Him is like nothing on earth, hearing Him talk to you is the most incredible thing, seeing Him at work literally takes your breath away!

I moved to Canada with my wonderful Husband, Andy, and my adorable little boy, Anthony, in 1998. It was such a tough transition at first, I missed my friends, my life, my maid!!! :) My Africa. But it has been an adventure, one I couldn’t have done without my God, my Father, my Teacher, the Lover of my Soul, the All Sufficient One. My beautiful little princess, Hannah, was born here in Canada in January, 2000 and has not yet set foot on African soil. The only true Canadian amongst us, eh!

I could tell you sooooo many wonderful things about Canada and our life here but I think I will leave that for a later post! Perhaps I shall call it My Canada!!