To say it has been an interesting few days would definitely be an understatement. After we had an amazing time at Lake Malawi, we headed towards Tanzania with great hope and excitement. We where planning to go to the Mushroom farm, enjoy the Utengule Coffee farm and go to Consolata Secondary School to deliver the much needed supplies. However, one of our vehicles had another plan. Just before the Malawi/Tanzania border we started to realize there was a problem. From that time till yesterday we where helped by multiple mechanics, obtained help and advice from South Africa, waited long hours, split up to make traveling easier, slept in a place we do not know the name of, ate at a dreamy Italian resturant and drove roads that made our hearts skip a beat.
Through all of this we met people who are extremely kind and who’s prayers carried us through, spent a good time at the Coffee farm, dodged Tuk-tuks and were reunited tired, but with smiles on our faces. Sadly we where not able to reach Consolata Secondary School. However, a drop off location was arranged to make sure they obtain the much needed supplies. We do hope to one day meet Stephen, who is very dedicated to the school. At this very moment, we are keeping our spirits high as we are trying to make up time. We travel with a perfect car and loads of support to back us as we head towards Kenya.
On day 9 we moved from the splendour of Zambia into Malawi. As we moved through the mountians in Zambia we were met by village after village. The colourful skirts worn by the women in the village seemed to be chosed by each one of them in particular, as the different patterns and bright colours matched the friendly faces. The hospitality at the university definitely confirmed this. We slept in the university residence and where truly blessed with wonderful meals. It was quiet seeing as most of the students have already gone home, but Prof. Melaku was extremely grateful for the books and could not wait to see each and every one of them. We then continued to WAG in the Thuma Forest Reserve. We moved into the mountians slipping and sliding, due the the roads being wet. Meeting the WAG team and seeing the forest was definitely a highlight. As we arrived we hiked into the rolling hills with the scouts that protect the elephants, forest and all the amazing wildlife that call Thuma home. The night we spent with the WAG team and was amazed by the endlest stories of restoring this forest to it’s previous splendor. We slept in traditional huts and were met by the rain in the morning, as we left for lake Malawi. Arriving at the lake the vast expance of water was truly enjoyed as the whole team took a moment to soak in every bit of its beauty before we enter Tanzania.
What an amazing journey this is! Since we have been at the University of Zimbabwe we have travelled +- 1000 km. The night we spent next to the Zambezi was a real treat. We then crossed the border at Chirundu into Zambia. Our first night in Zambia we stayed at Pioneer Camp outside of Lusaka. It was teeming with birds and we started to get a sense of the humidity we can expect up north. This was followed by an extremely long journey all the way to South Luangwa. Here we have visited two charities. The first being Chipembele Wildlife Educational Trust and the second, Conservation South Luangwa. It was amazing to see the great work Chipmbele do, with regards to not only rehabilitation of animals, but also aiding to raise a generation with a heart for wildlife. Conservation South Luangwa was also amazing to see, as it gave insight into how much the people truly care about the wildlife and how human-wildlife interaction can be well managed in order to live in harmony. These are days filled with learning. We are soaking in all the information to see how each and every one of us can help to make the world a safer place for both wildlife and humans.
Yesterday was an amazing day at the University of Zimbabwe. Everyone was extremely grateful and excited to use the books and supplies that have been sponsored. The friendly reception was much appreciated.
As the Dean said: “We should have the spirit of giving running though our veins.”
We will keep this as a reminder as we travel to our next country.