After a long and grueling 15-hour overnight flight from London to Harare, via Joburg, Ant and I finally arrived at my parents’ house to the warm greetings, hugs and kisses of my family. In the past year, they hadn’t changed much at all (apart from my daddy’s and brother Andre’s stomachs appearing a few inches wider 😉 It was great to sit down and catch-up with everyone over a delicious cool lunch of cold meats and salads, after which I retreated to the bedroom for a much-needed afternoon nap (Ant prefers to stay up and fight the jet lag).
Our first week involved seeing lots of family and friends in Harare, with a large family braai at my parents’ house on the Tuesday evening for around 30 people (which was only half of my family!). We also spent hours and hours gathering together all the documentation for Ant’s residency application, going to the Immigration office and being told that a new additional requirement is police clearance from the UK. Blow! That came as such a disappointment to us as we were hoping to sort out Ant’s residency whilst we were in Zim this time round (now that we’re back in the UK, we’re busy getting Ant’s UK police clearance sorted at the moment). Thankfully, our friend Craig is coming over to the UK in February for a week, so he’s kindly offered to take Ant’s UK police clearance back with him to Zim for submission, along with all the other residency application documentation.
On our second week in Zim, Ant went off to Marondera (about an hour’s drive from Harare) on Zam Hols Boys’ Camp for 7 days, which consisted of 56 teenage boys and 15 leaders, a total of 71 males! Originally, I was going to go along as a spouse, but I then found out that I’d be the only female on the campsite, so I very quickly changed my mind! In the end, I went up for just one night with Craig’s parents who were visiting (Craig is the guy who leads Zam Hols Camps). It was great to join them for the evening session of fantastic Spirit-led worship and an inspiring talk by Tariro on the gospel and not living for the things of this world. After breakfast the following morning, I headed back to Harare with Craig’s parents, and looked forward to seeing my husband again in 4 days’ time. When Ant got back to Harare after Zam Hols Camp, he was very tired and sunburnt, but he said he had a fantastic time and looks forward to next time 🙂 Ant also did a talk on Sin the one evening on Zam Hols Camp, which he said was very well received by the guys, and he got a lot of positive feedback about it. He also led an afternoon Bible Study for the 16-18 year olds on 1 Peter 3, which he said was very interactive and it got people discussing.
On our third week in Zim, we headed to Kariba (about 4 hours drive from Harare) with my family, who have a holiday house there in an area called Charara. The house is a few minutes’ walk from Lake Kariba, so we often went out on my dad’s boat on a game-viewing drive or just for a ride. My brothers really like fishing, so they often took the boat out to go catch fish. There is also a swimming pool, so we’d often find ourselves in the swimming pool for most of the day, as temperatures were around 40 degrees on most days. The heat in Kariba is almost unbearable and the mosquitoes were a real nuisance (Ant especially got bitten the most out of everyone, we think it’s because of his English blood;) but apart from that we had a great time! Christmas Day was nice and relaxed, we exchanged presents, had a delicious and very large Christmas lunch, then relaxed by the pool for the rest of the afternoon.
We drove back to Harare on Boxing Day and flew back to the UK on the 27th. We thank God for a wonderful, relaxing, long holiday!