5. Leaving Mozambique and beginning Zimbabwe

September 1, 2009 - Chiredzi, Zimbabwe


We ended our unplanned day with a scrumptious supper at Zombie Cucumber. It was cooked by Sabrina who also runs Odyssea dive with her partner, Denis. Check out Odyssea dive on our link. Really professional and reassuring

We woke up on Thursday morning at 6 – a godlier hour than the morning before, but still to the sound of a hoarse rooster just above our heads – and headed back to town centre. There we managed to catch a chapa to Pambarra which is the intersection to catch rides at, apparently.

We bought a few cashews and managed to catch a ride with a really friendly and generous man, Betu, who drove an air conditioned 4x4. What a treat. He refused most of our offers of payment and was a real gentle giant of a man. He spoke minimal English so we spent most of our 4 and a half hour trip in relative silence. He dropped us in Inchope at the chapa to Chimoio helping us to negotiate a reasonable fee. On the chapa we met Albertino who spoke English and acted as both champion and tour guide to us for the next hour and escorted us to the next chapa, in Chimoio, which would take us to the border. It seems as if God is really setting up our next steps.

We arrived at the border at about 4:30pm and we were through with no hassle by 5. We then, after some bargaining, caught a ride in the back of a bakkie, to Mutare. We hurried through and attempted to catch a lift to Chiredzi but when the evening started to darken we admitted our perhaps foolish attempt and sought a bed for the night.

We found Manica Guest lodge by chance (is that you again, God?) and spent an evening eating delicious stew, having a bath and watching dstv in our room for a ridiculously reasonable price. We woke at 5am refreshed and ready to catch the ‘Luxury Liner’ to Chiredzi by 6. We arrived at the deserted bus on time and found out that it would only leave at 9. Encouraged by our previous attempt at hitch hiking we thumbed at the side of the road and within half an hour we were comfortably seated on a truck driver’s bed with a panoramic view of the surrounds. The truck driver was Leonard and he was being monitored by his learner brother, International. They kept us entertained with talk on politics, life stories and general info. They were very informative and chatty. We were dropped in Chiredzi by 10:30am and ambled our way over to Mungwezi ranching where Tore Ballance works.

(Tore and Smithey Ballance are Leasha Love’s parents. She and her husband, Bart, and their son, Samuel, are close friends of ours in Cape Town.)

 Tore took us around and showed us all the amazing art creations he has made out of dead wood. His business is called ‘be not far’ – handcrafted candlesticks and lamps. It outlines so much significance. The story is: “the struggle for survival in the harsh Lowveld results in magnificent hardwoods of fine grain and intricate pattern. Each BeNotFar candlestick and lamp is handcrafted and uniquely created to transform and enhance its own battle scars and markings into a work of beauty. Each piece is selected from deadwood destined one day to be burnt. The candlestick maker gives this wood new life as a bearer of light. As you look at the candlesticks and lamps, reflect on the true candlestick Maker. He chooses each of us, who are also destined for the fire, and delights in transforming us into bearers of His light”. Take a look at some of his wonderful creations in our photo album

It really holds so much symbolism for the struggle they have been through here too. Tore is an artist and very entertaining and eccentric and amusing at that. We have loved hearing his stories and musings and being shown his gardens and compost.

We then head on the Ballance home where we are welcomed by Smithey and shown to our lovely room – thanks Robin - and then head out to join the community in preparing for a wedding.

We are power walking with Smithey at 6am on Friday then eating a healthy breakfast. The water is on til about 9 so we all try and get showers and washing done. At 10 we set out for more décor at the hall in preparation for the Nicky and Ross wedding. We spent a full day at the end of which, the hall was transformed. What a community affair! Blake serenades me and tips me over the railing as a gesture of romance, only to lose his footing causing us to both topple over onto my arm. I am anxious that his one failed attempt at romance will stem the flow for future attempts and a little anxious that my arm may not make it for a repeat.

On Saturday morning we go to the clinic for a surprisingly efficient consultation and  XRay and my arm is not broken. Thank you Lord!

The rest of the day we rest while the town attends the wedding.

On Sunday we go to the Lowveld Christian Fellowship meeting with the Ballances and are encouraged and challenged by a message from Genesis. It is good to be among such a close community and see so much in action.

We have an amazing pork roast lunch at an expanse of an estate at Colleen and Chris who manage a sugar plantation. It was a bit surreal but utterly yummy. We spent the afternoon there, being stuffed. We headed home and went to bed early.

Monday we woke at 4:30am and bounced our way over to a coffee plant in Tore’s bakkie. We met a French man, Michelle, who walked us through his factory, from the planting to the roasting of the coffee beans for La Lucie coffee. What an education and what passion he has. Very good coffee too! Dad, you would love it. It was also such a stark reminder of all the things we have seen here, tastes of what was, glimpses of how lovely and beautiful this land was a few years ago. It’s so sad and it makes one long to see it restored.


Thank you so much for all your words of excitement and encouragement. We are loving this adventure but we pray for you all and miss you at the same time.






out the truck window
thumbing in Mutare
in the hitched truck ride to Chiredzi
Andrew the human squirrel


September 1, 2009
Hey, I love what you're doing and what you're learning and what you're experiencing. It's exciting to follow how He is opening up things for you and with you. Awesome! The pictures are amazing and add actuality to your comments about the dives you did - you both, the fish, the moray eel. Beautiful. It looks like your travelling is a little bit like Madagascar stuff but more serious.
September 3, 2009
Sounds like you guys are having an incredible adventure in God's hands, in his creation , with his people. Love Reading your blogs... Love the details and funny moments . Rach I'm glad your arm is ok and I hope blake learns to be gracefully romantic :) love and miss u both xxx happy adventuring !!!
September 6, 2009
I AM SO JEaLOUS. I MISS HOME. Thinking of you guys lots and so excited for you both. Keep the news coming - it is so great to follow you both. lots and lots of love
Pam Berry:
September 8, 2009
Ah, it is so so so lovely to read your real life adventure...especially cos we know the 'main characters'. I love how you are meeting so many people and knowing you guys, leaving a real taste of Jesus in each of their hearts.
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