Back home again in Zimbabwe (via Cape Town)

On September 22nd I left for home.  My ticket ride included a limo ride from my home to the airport and on the way the limo driver and I talked about our lives and what we did.  When I got to the airport he helped me to get my entire luggage (3 biggggg bags and 2 hand luggage) on a cart and when I went to give him a tip he gave me a $20 tip!  He said he was so impressed by what I did he wanted to thank me!  Wow what an unexpected blessing!

I arrived in Dubai at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday night local time and was picked up and sent to a beautiful hotel near the airport which included a wonderful dinner (choice of 8 restaurants) and breakfast (my last chance to eat Humus-yum!).  I was able to sleep well after sleeping a lot on the 15 ½ hour flight to there.  Then at 9 a.m. the next morning I was on my way to Harare.

I arrived at 5:20 p.m. local time and walked right through with my entire luggage (with myself having to lift them on to the luggage cart) out to waiting Dr. Kellert and Jordan Smetzer.  Rick and Sue and Major were running errands and trying to get our latest container cleared and we met at a stoplight!  We had a wonderful reunion!  It was great to be back in warm, summer weather!

The next day Rick and Major went off to clear the container and the 4 of us girls ran errands and did some grocery shopping and met up with Gladys Jongling for dinner.  It was my 58th birthday and her 75th had been the day before and Jordan’s 18th the day before that.  We went to a great Italian restaurant and had a great dinner with our friend Sylvia from Harare.  We had great laughs and were exciting as 6 of us were leaving the next day for a week in Cape Town!

On the 26th, Dr. Kellert, Gladys, Jordan, Rick, Sue and I left for Cape Town.  We flew first to Johannesburg, South Africa and after a few hours and dinner in the airport we flew on to Cape Town our van that sat 10 was there and we drove on to our bed and breakfast and arrived at 11 p.m.

The first day we got up and had a beautiful breakfast and then went off to Table Mountain.  We took the tram up (it spins 360 degrees as you go up.  We got to the top and were in the clouds.  It was cold and foggy and boy was it a shock from our hot weather here in Zim.  We enjoyed the flowers, animal life and walking on top of the mountain.  At times the clouds cleared and we ran to the edge to see the views—the city on one side and the ocean on the other.

We then drove on to Century City a big mall north of CT.  We spent a few hours looking through shops, having lunch and then went to a movie, leaving after dark for home.

The next day (Friday) we went down to the Waterfront to take a ferry tour out to Robbins Island and see the prison where Nelson Mandela was held for 27 years.  It involves a walking and bus tour that lasted 4 hours.  We saw the very cell Nelson Mandela was held in and the walking tour through the prison is done by former political prisoners of the prison themselves.  We then had a wonderful fish lunch/dinner on the Waterfront and spent some time in the mall there!

Saturday we went back to the Waterfront and toured the Aquarium.  It is rated right up there with Monterey Aquarium.  We enjoyed the penguin feeding and fish feeding.  We caught Jordan and Sue surrounded by clown fish.  After the Aquarium we went through the craft stores and then on to another new fish place for lunch/dinner and Jordan. Rick and Gladys went up on the Cape Town eye fairs wheel right at sunset on the waterfront.  They loved the views then with the sun setting and lights coming up and Table Mountain in the background—wow, it is beautiful!

Sunday we went to Hillsong church and then took a picnic out to Kirstenbosch Gardens—near our B&B where we enjoyed a tour of the gardens and walking through the beauty just below Table Mountain. That evening we went to a new mall to look around and Cheryl and Jordan went to a movie and then we met after for dinner.  Mug Bean is one of our favorite places to eat in South Africa—a chain throughout the country and good food.

Monday we went to Cape Point about an hours drive from Cape Town where it has been said the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans meet.  There is actually a lower point where they meet about 150 kms away!  We enjoyed the walk and saw ostriches by the sea.  We drove back and stopped at the Southern African penguin colony to see these short (about 2 ft high) guys basking in the sun, swimming in the ocean and sitting on eggs in nests!  We saw some babies too.  We drove back via Hout Bay along the Chapman Peak road—enjoying the curves and beauty of the ocean off our side.  I wasn’t sure we would make it with the bog van but we managed.  We stop at a great fish restaurant at Hout Bay and ate outside as the sun was setting enjoying seeing people swim and play in the surf. We all enjoyed fish after living in a landlocked country.

Tuesday we spent our last day in SA again at the waterfront. Enjoying the scenery, shops and a last big lunch/dinner of fish before hitting the craft stores one more time.  We headed home to try and get all of our things we bought in our bags and headed for the airport at 4:15 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

We left at 7 a.m. to Joburg and by 9:30 a.m. we were on the ground.  We had 3 hours before our plane left so we enjoyed the airport shops and then met up with my Zimbabwean sister, Sylvia and her husband Chuck who had just arrived in Joberg from London and before that SF!  They were very exhausted.   We flew to Harare together in the same plane and drove to the flat to pack up give them a car and phone as they left for her home in Gweru and we left for Chidamoyo! 

Finally after 10 weeks away I arrived home at midnight!  At least there was electricity and one happy dog to welcome me home!

By  5:30 a.m. I was up and making breakfast for 6 people and by 7 a.m. back to work.  It was great to see everyone and find they had managed without me!  Of course within 2 days I was called early in the morning for a C/S to do the anesthesia and then work the rest of the day until 7 a.m.!  Not long until we are back in the flow!  I thought maybe night call would be one of the things I could give up-ha!

It took several days of 12 hour shifts to catch up and hear all that happened when I was gone.  Always hearing about community members and patients who died.  Life goes on here—slow but sure! 

I feel so much better and everyone said how much better I looked now then when I left.  I think it may be those extra pounds I put on in the US!  I continue to be fever free and pain free and more energetic than in the past 8 months.  Thanks for all your prayers and thoughts!
Kathy, Cheryl, Sue and Rick on top of Table Mountain

Jordan in middle of Clown Fish at the Aquarium, Cape Town
 Sue and Kathy at picnic in Gardens
Penquins at Boulders Beach
 Gladys at the Aquarium--watch out sharks!
 Checking up on email at McDonalds!
 Kathy, Sue, Jordan and Rick
The Birthday "Girls"!


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