Saying Good-bye and hello to new adventures

It has been a busy 2 weeks.  We said goodbye to people and said hello to new people and then met up with old friends to see new places.  What fun is that!

On the 22nd of May we had a going away party for Dr. Isala and his wife Loraine.  He had been with us for 4 years as our doctor and Loraine had been here for almost eight years as a nurse.  They met and married here in 2015.  They left as of May 31st to work at a private clinic in Bindura—80 kms North of Harare.  We had a wonderful lunch with all the staff and gave them a rural life painting to remember us by in their new home.

At the going away party we also said goodbye to Dr. Ben Watterly who had been with us for 3 weeks from the UK and Courtney Walker, RN who had been with us for 2 weeks from CA.  We had a great time with them and wish them well.  Ben was going on for a month to New Zealand to visit his brother and Courtney was going on to do another medical mission trip in Ethiopia and then travel in Europe for 3 weeks before getting home.

We also welcomed a new doctor at the party—Dr. Mudzingwa and his wife and 14-month-old daughter Abigail.  They arrived late Monday night to start as a doctor here.  We had 3 doctors for a week!  We are happy he is here to join us after finishing his residency.

On the 23rd of May I left with Ben and Courtney to take them to Harare and then went to the airport to welcome an old friend of mine, Cathy Holdener, her husband Bart and adult daughter Jennifer.  Cathy and I have been friends for 43 years when we met when we started nursing school together at UCSF.  We also had our first jobs together at Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento from 1977 until I left to come here in 1981.  She still works in Postpartum at the same hospital!They flew into Harare from Zanzibar after 3 weeks doing safaris in Tanzania and seeing Zanzibar. 

Bart had broken his arm the day before they left on their trip and decided to come and will get it fixed after he gets back.  He did very well and  did everything with us!

We spent the night in Harare and on Thursday the 24th we left with Major and Patience Mereki and drove to Masvingo, Zimbabwe.  We saw Great Zimbabwe Ruins and stayed at a house for the night on Lake Kyle—what a beautiful view to wake up to!

After spending a few hours climbing around at Great Zimbabwe—we drove 3 ½ hours on to spent 2 nights in Bulawayo.  We spent the next day seeing Matopos Park, where Cecil Rhodes is buried and saw some bushman paintings and went around the game park. 

On the 27th we drove to the airport in Bulawayo and flew to Johannesburg, South Africa and then on to Cape town, South Africa.  We had a 2 hour wait in between flights at Joerg so Michael Mereki came to the airport to surprise his parents!  Michael is in his last year of law school near Joberg and we hadn’t seen him since February when he left to start his final year.  He graduates in November!

We arrived in Cape town about 6:30 pm.  We rented a small 7-seater car and we piled in with all our luggage and looked like a “combi” with suitcases on top of all of us but the driver—to the ceiling! We finally arrived at our house we rented close to 8:30 p.m. and then walked 2 blocks away for dinner.The first day in Cape town Cathy and Jennifer went on a wine tour of places nearby and came home with 9 bottles of wine they had bought from 5 different wineries they visited.  Major and Patience and I enjoyed shopping that day and eating some fish down at the V&A waterfront.

Tuesday, we went on a walking tour of downtown and BoKaap—an area of brightly colored houses occupied by Malay people—95% Muslim. We had a wonderful guide and really walked and got to eat some Samosas and Koeksisters on the tour.

We then drove down to the Cape of Good Hope where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans join.  It was a beautiful day and then we stopped to see the Penquins at Boulders Beach.  How fun they were to watch and many new babies to see!

Wednesday we did a Malay cooking class in Bo Kaap where we learned to make Chicken curry, Samosas, Roti bread (like tortillas with basil and garlic in them) and Koeksisters—then we got to sit down and enjoy it all for lunch!  We had great fun and Major really got into it and promised to cook it again here at home!

We then planned to go up Table Mountain, but it was cold and raining and trams not going so we went to V&A Waterfront to shop and had a wonderful dinner before returning home.
Major and Patience and Jen went up on the big wheel there to see the sights of the water front from up high.

Thursday, we had tickets to go to Robbins Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for several years.  Unfortunately, they had to cancel the tour because the boats couldn’t go out because of choppy water.  It was very cloudy and cold and windy.  So, we ended up going to another shopping mall—Canal Walk and enjoyed some last-minute shopping before we headed home.That night we had a wonderful dinner at NV-80 a close walk away and enjoyed a beautiful steak dinner as our last night in Cape town.

Unfortunately, we had to say our goodbyes and we headed for the airport at 0330 am as we had a 0615 am flight to Joberg!  Holdeners stayed the day and didn’t head for home until 23:30 p.m. Friday night!

We got to Joberg and then on to Bulawayo where we arrived at 12:15 p.m.  We then drove to our house we rented for the night.  We did our whole trip on Air BnB and loved it all and saved so much money!

Yesterday (Saturday) we headed for home.  Tapson, our driver came down to meet us on Friday and help drive back since we had 2 cars.  Nine hours later we pulled into home!

What a wonderful time we had, and it was so great spending time with the Holdeners.  We are already planning their next trip to Africa! 

Going away party--Dr and Mrs. Mudzingwa, Dr. and Mrs. Moyo, Dr. and Mrs. Isala

Major with Dr. and Mrs. Isala

Going away gift for Isala's

Ben and Courtney with nurses

Courtney with Abigail Mudzingwa

Dr. Mudzingwa and Dr. Isala

Dr. Mudzingwa family

Courtney and Ben with Major and Kathy

Cathy, Jen and Bart Holdener

Kathy and Cathy--43 years friends

Major and Patience and Kathy and Kathy, Bart and Jen

Bushman paintings on rocks in Matopos

Major and Patience in Matopos

Jen, Cathy and Bart Holdener

The group at Rhodes Grave Matopos

Walking tour of downtown Capetown

Reminder of  Race classification up to 1991

Houses of Bo Kaap

Cathy on cobblestone streets of Bo Kaap

Cape of Good Hope where Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean

The Penquins

Cooking class

Eating what we made in Malay cooking class

The Capetown wheel

Shopping in Capetown

Sites of Capetown

 Our last dinner in Capetown


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