Zimbabwe

A couple weeks ago I went to Zimbabwe on a GetAway sponsored by the Christian Hospitality Network.  They are a donor-based organization that does getaways around the world for missionaries to allow them a time to relax and get away for a couple days.

So, the Grants (Margie and Ron) and I headed out after church and went to Joburg to catch our flight.  We stayed at BIMS, a guest house for missionaries.  It was a great price and convenient to the airport.  That night we went to the movies and I grabbed a sandwich from Subway for dinner, not as good as in the states.  On the way home, we started to see fireworks.  I hadn’t seen fireworks since I left the states.  I love fireworks!

The next morning we got a taxi to the airport and caught our flight to Livingstone, Zambia.  Once in Zambia, I felt humidity for the first time in awhile.  We caught our shuttle to Elephant Hills resort in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.  I met a few others on the ride who worked in different areas of Zambia.

We arrived at Elephant Hills and wow.  It was beautiful.  The Hospitality Team also spoiled us so much.  They had us check in, get our key cards and then check in with the conference.  They handed us a bag of goodies (so many!) and sent us to our rooms to unload our stuff.  Also at check-in they had a place where you could sign up to see a doctor and/or a counselor.  I signed up to see the doctor just to make sure all was well.

That night we had a gathering to worship and hear more about the conference.  There was nothing required that we do, just to relax and enjoy ourselves.  My room was amazing.  I had it all to myself, king-size bed and all.

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From my balcony I saw something off in the distance that could be the mist from the falls.  After worship we headed down to a wonderful dinner, so yummy.

The next morning, I met Margie for breakfast and then had my doctor’s appointment.  All is well, in case you are wondering.  We then headed to the Falls.  Can I say WOW?  They are beautiful.  This is during dry season, so the mist wasn’t so bad and we were able to see the falls.  So gorgeous.

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We walked around checking out every viewpoint and taking pictures.

At a certain point I started feeling a bit off and realized I might need to eat lunch, so I headed back to the café to grab a snack or something and the others continued without me.  No snack was there, so I ordered lunch and enjoyed a full meal.  Then I headed back out to see the rest of the falls.

I wondered along seeing different viewpoints.  It was beautiful.  You could tell that during rainy season so much more of the area is falls.  I enjoyed checking everything out.

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As I was finishing at stop 15, and heading to stop 16, I saw three warthogs (Pumbas!!!!).  They were blocking my path to stop 16 and they didn’t really want to let me pass.

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I met someone else who was heading in the same direction as I was and she also thought it might not be a good idea to try to pass.  There was a momma and her baby there.  So we headed back the other way.  We got to the part of the falls I saw earlier in the day and it was even more beautiful now.  There was a rainbow!

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Boy am I grateful my head had started to feel weird!  I also got to meet someone who was serving in Zimbabwe.  God really blessed me!

After getting back from the Falls, I decided I wanted to go to the pool.

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I was pretty warm after walking around there and it was a hot day.  Down at the pool, it was so nice.  I met some more people who were serving in different places in Africa who were there for the conference.

By the pool you could often see monkeys and warthogs.

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That night I went to worship and then dinner, another extremely yummy dinner.  After that I played games with the group and we all decided to go shopping the next morning.

The next day I took it easy.  I went shopping with the group from the night before.  When I got back I read and took a nap.  Then I headed again to the pool.  Worship and then dinner that night.  Dinner was outside since it was our last night.  I did get a few bug bites that night, but not to worry, I’m took malaria medicine.

On Thursday we headed back to the airport and flew back to South Africa.  At the airport in Zambia they asked where I wanted to sit, I asked for a window seat.  She gave me the one right behind the exit row…which doesn’t have a seat in it.  I had twice the leg room you usually get.  It was sweet!

When we got back to BIMS that night, we got to our rooms and I realized mine hadn’t been cleaned.  I went to the office and they switched me to a different room.  This one was an upgrade.  I went from a single bed to a queen and my new room had a living room as well.  So nice!  We headed out to Macro, something similar to Sam’s Club or Costco, even owned by Walmart.  I found American food – Pringles!!!  Now yes I can find Pringles in Lesotho, but they are usually very expensive, a lot more than I like to pay.  At Macro they were a normal price, yay Pringles!!!  I also found trail mix.  Yummy!

We then headed over to the mall for dinner and I had an excellent thai chicken wrap.

The next day we headed back towards Lesotho, but Margie and I were dropped off at Wynford Farms, where the Lesotho Ladies Retreat was taking place that weekend.

So many things throughout the week were true blessings.  I got to see fireworks for the first time in over a year.  Extra legroom on the plane.  An upgraded room.  A rainbow at Victoria Falls.  The Hospitality Team from CHN just blessing each of us all week.  One night, I had a bag on my door, CHN had contacted my Mom and had her get my family to send letters.  I had a bag full of letters from my friends and family.  I just started crying as I was reading them.  One of the best things here, the thing that means the most to me, is to receive letters from home.  It’s a lot like college that way.  By the end of the week I just felt so loved and cared for by my Lord.  He showed me in so many little and big ways, I was overwhelmed by His love and still am.

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