Saturday, July 16, 2016

Off to Vic Falls, Bye to Michael and Happy Birthday to another Michael

As soon as Major and the guests got back from Rhino Camp and the long dirt road they took to get home, we turned around and they repacked and off we went to Harare, 4 of us (Michael Miller, Abbey, Major and I) were driven in by Michael Mereki.

We got to Harare at 10 p.m. and left at 7:15 a.m. the next day for the airport to fly off to Vic Falls.  Michael Mereki stayed in Harare to run errands for us.  We arrived in Vic Falls at 10:30 a.m. and off to the Bed and Breakfast to check in.  We walked the Falls and went on a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River and then to dinner at the Boma where you can eat a bit of warthog, impala, croc tail, etc. and eat a Mopane Worm and get a certificate.  Michael and Major ate--we watched!

The next day Abbey and Michael were off to raft the Zambezi and Major and I went to town and walked around.  We were shocked to be able to use an ATM and get US$ out--something we haven't been able to do for months in Harare and Chinhoyi.  Since Vic Falls is a tourist town there has not been such a problem with money as in other places in the country.

That night we met up with Chidamoyo alumni Kirby and Sunny Reed and their 3 children.  Kirby was with us in 1997 for 6 months and then Kirby and Sunny came for 2 months over the Millineum (Dec. 1999 - Jan. 2000).  We had not seen them since then and they now had 3 children.  They were visiting for 2 nights in Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls and so we were able to meet up with them and the group they were with.  

Kirby is a Nurse Practitioner now in Austin, Texas.  It was great to be able to visit with them and their children and catch up with the past 16 years.  It was so great to see them.  Michael Mereki was 4 years old when Kirby spent the 6 months with us and Kirby would always come and play with him after work.  One day Michael cried and told his dad "why can't you be fun like Kirby!"  We always remembered that and kidded Major about it!

On Wednesday morning Abbey and Michael went to ride elephants and then we flew to Harare arriving about 6:30 p.m.  We did some grocery shopping and left Abbey and Michael with Michael Mereki as Major and I took off for home as we needed to be back to work the next day!  We got home at 1 a.m. and up by 5 a.m. to get breakfast ready for Caleb and Amanda that we left at home.  It was a busy day at work so it kept me awake.  I finally got home close to 7 p.m. and got dinner on the table and was in bed by 9 p.m.!

Michael left on Thursday morning for home after a month here and Abbey had to get her visa renewed.  Then she and Michael came home that evening in time for dinner.  

We enjoyed having Michael with us and he seemed to enjoy his time here.  We wish him well as he continues to work on getting into Medical School.

On  Wednesday and Thursday there were "stay away " days again in Harare.  Stores and some things were open and everything was very quiet.  We are happy there has been no violence.

Friday night we decided to have a surprise birthday party for Michael Mereki.  His birthday was 2 months ago on May 28th but he was away at school in South Africa and we couldn't celebrate with him, so we decided we would do it last night.  Major was late coming from work so we had Caleb "pretend" it was his birthday until Major got there and then we yelled "surprise" and  Caleb handed over the birthday hat and sunglasses to him!  He was very surprised.  We shared cake with all of the prayer group that came that night.

Michael and Abbey arriving in Victoria Falls



Major and Kathy at the Falls


Abbey, Major and Michael in the Rain Forest at Victoria Falls



Major is the Pot of Gold!

Michael at the Boma

Abbey and Kathy at the Boma

Michael and Major riding the Hippos


Elephants seen on our Zambezi River Cruise


Major and Kathy with the Kirby Ree3d family

Hippos in Vic Falls


 Celebrating Michael's 23rd!



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