Zimbabwe: an adventure like no other

When I first found out we were going to Zimbabwe, I must admit I wasn’t as excited about the whole thing. Most of it was fear of what to expect and how everybody would react to us not being able to speak our home language. I would be going with my father, sister and two younger brothers. My mother would not be going unfortunately, as she was undertaking placement as part of her university course. Thursday 12th July 2012 was the day this whole adventure would begin. We had packed all week long and were somewhat ready to go. The taxi arrived at 2:00pm to take us to the coach station, where we would then travel to the airport. We eventually arrived at the airport around 6:00pm and boarded the plane soon thereafter.

First stop: Dubai.

The plane was really big and the seats where spacious with ‘tablet’ sized television screens on the back. We quickly found our seats and waited for departure. I don’t quite know how long the journey to Dubai was, but I do know we arrived sometime the next morning. When we got off the plane, the weather was very warm. We did not get to see much of Dubai. We found our way to the waiting area for the plane to Zimbabwe. We were waiting for quite some time before we had to board the plane. Eventually the gates opened and they started letting people on. The plane to Zimbabwe via Lusaka was nowhere near as spacious as the first plane we had taken from London to Dubai. The seats where squashed and the television screens on the back of the seats where much smaller compared to the ones we had had before.

Next stop: Lusaka.

This part of the journey was not pleasant. There was a delay in Dubai. We were sat in the plane for so long; I thought we would never leave. It became hot and the passengers were becoming restless. When we did eventually leave, most of the passengers had fallen asleep. The journey to Lusaka was made longer by the screen at the front tracking our journey. The stop in Lusaka was not too long. Majority of the passengers came off at this stop. We would soon be in Zimbabwe.

Last stop: Zimbabwe, Harare.

We arrived in Harare late evening Friday 13th July 2012. We climbed off the hot plane and made our way through the quiet Zimbabwean airport, where we were soon greeted by our grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins. My sister and I were extremely tired and all we wanted was just to get some sleep. That was not going to be the case. We all clambered into the cars parked out front and made our way to our aunt’s home (my father’s sister). There were drinks and cakes waiting for us on the table and so many questions. Eventually we were allowed to retire for the night.

The next day, we awoke late in the afternoon to a wonderfully made breakfast of eggs, toast and sausages. Later on we hung out outside in the sun with our three cousins. I was still tired from the airplane journey and wanted to get some more rest. We pretty much spent the rest of the days just sitting out in the yard, kicking a ball and catching up with all we could in that time. After all, it had been almost ten years since we had last seen them.

Wednesday 17th July 2012 - During the stay at our house in Gweru, we drove around our old neighbourhood in Ivene and Mkoba. It has changed quite a lot. We took some pictures, visited some old friends and saw the house we grew up in with our now deceased grandfather (my mother's father).

During the week we stayed in Gweru, we travelled to Victoria Falls with our grandmother. It was breath-taking. We stayed at Elephant Hills Hotel which was so great. The beds were comfortable, the food was amazing and our room had a great view. When we went to see the Falls, my father stood at the very edge just so he could get a good picture. Whilst at the Falls, one of my brothers was attacked by several baboons because of the ice-cream my grandmother had bought him. He has had nightmares since then. My sister and I immediately threw away our ice-creams just so they would not attack us. We crossed over from the Zimbabwean side to the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, where we watched some people bungee jumping over the bridge. We would have went, but our grandmother wasn't as thrilled as we were about it.

Wednesday 25th July 2012 - We also went to Kariba, a resort like place. It was pretty cool there. We stayed in a cabana with our cousins, aunt and uncle. We did have to cook for ourselves which was a drag, but I must admit I did pretty well. During the days we stayed there, we hung out in one of several swimming pools. The weather was just perfect for swimming. Whilst there, we went to see the Dam Wall in Zambia. We pretty much crossed over from Zimbabwe to Zambia a few times.

Monday 6th August 2012 - We are going home today. I have to be honest; in the end I did rather enjoy this trip. Our aunt, uncle and cousins drove us to the airport and there we said our goodbyes. There were a few tears. The journey back was alright. The plane was not as full as when we had came. A day later, we were back in London.

A tip for travellers: If you get coach/travel sickness like me, take a bag. I almost threw up on one of the coach rides and had no sick bag or anything. I had to try and swallow it down so I did not spew over my sister or fellow passengers around me. Gross, right?