Just a tourist in southern Africa
In 1992, I had my final NWP glances of Solwezi and the NWP. On this visit and those that followed, I went as a tourist, not a resident. On this trip, I traveled to Solwezi with American friends. In 16 following visits, I started and ended in Lusaka or Johannesburg but would not see the NWP again. Thus, this web page and the following one are really photograph albums of my trips. They have minimal relationship with former web pages.
AAD Family. Early in 1991, several friends from The Riverside Church that attended Morning Light early on Sundays suggested that we visit southern Africa with me as a guide. This visit would provide me with final glances of the NWP; a grand memory lane homecoming for me and an lovely initial visit for them. Planning continued throughout the year. While several who wanted to go could not make it, Heidi Campbell, Elise Goldman, Ruth Joseph and and I finally flew out on 11th March 1992 and came back on 5th April. We nicknamed ourselves the AAD Family (for African Adventure) or the HERD, which stood for Heidi, Elise, Ruth and David. Had Zenobia Gray also joined us, we would have been ZHERD!
Blessings aplenty! We took Zambia Airways both directions between NYC and Lusaka .We all responded quite differently to our first days in Zambia. I barely slept four hours a night for the first ten days, due to both jetlag and excitement. Ruth kissed the soil of Zambia the moment she left the aircraft. Elise and Ruth avoided drinking any untreated water for the first ten days no matter where, while Heidi could barely be constrained even where the danger was considerable. But all this became our collective arrival song. Blessings aplenty, we had no ill health or accidents.
Our basic itinerary. In Lusaka, James Kanga and Patrick Sapallo and their families hosted us. From Lusaka, we flew to Ndola where Muriel Sanderson met and drove us to Mindolo Ecumenical Centre. We then took buses round trip to Solwezi where Danny and Lena McCallum hosted us. Upon return to Kitwe and Ndola, we flew to Livingstone and the Victoria Falls. (See the basic map below.) Crossing the border, we stayed at the Victoria Falls Hotel before renting a car and driving to the Hwange Game Park. From there, we flew through Harare to Port Elizabeth (PE), South Africa. In PE, we spent time with my in-laws, Zindi and Mteto’s family. Finally, we drove along the Garden Route to Cape Town, with special stops in Plattenburg Bay, Oudtshoorn and Genadendal. From Cape Town, we quickly flew back to NYC via Jo’burg and Lusaka.
Initial stop: Lusaka. We arrived on 12th March quite jetlagged. The Kanga and Sapallo families tended to our needs and concerns. Jetlagged or not, the next day Patrick Sapallo escorted us to a farming cooperative at Katuba (north of Lusaka) where the Christian Children’s Fund (CCF), which he worked for, sponsored projects. The middle picture shows me (left), Adam of Katuba (middle) and Patrick (right) with co-op members in the background. Members of the Kanga and Sapallo families later took us to the one of Lusaka’s large markets. The picture on the right shows everybody resting outside a kiosk .
Kitwe and on to Solwezi. Muriel Sanderson provide hospitality at the Mindolo Ecumenical Centre for several days. Especially note Heidi surrounded by children at Mindolo as she entranced them by playing one of her recorders (like a flute). In Kitwe, Peter Njovu, my assistant for many years in the 1970s — see other web pages — met us and volunteered to be our Solwezi guide. I was honored by him escorting me to see his family and their home in Kitwe, which he had built himself with sun dried bricks.
Zambian buses and roads. The road into Solwezi from the east, as in years past, was much used by both vehicles and pedestrians. We used it many times esp. across the Solwezi stream. The bus journey was approx. 250 km. from Kitwe on well paved roads. In both directions the bus was impressively on time. On our return, the women chose to sit in front while most people were sitting in the back. They found out why! The driver drove very fast to keep on schedule while engaging in unending conversation! Quite an adventure.
Solwezi. Danny and Lena McCallum hosted us in Solwezi. Danny drove us around town much of the time, but we also often walked between many places. The pictures below show us with Danny and Lena; then me with Mr. Kalepa an old friend, which I had interviewed many years before. (See the Interview page.) All of us are on the right.
On 18th March, Danny took us to St. Francis Mission (18 km. east) where Fr. Joe and Sr. Maureen gave us a delightful tour. The school girls did a special dance for the tourists and Heidi joined in at the end. Solwezi was the northern- and western-most points of our trip.
Solwezi Gorge. On one very long walk, we went from the town center to the Solwezi River Gorge (about five km away) through a long valley, via the Teacher College, where I had lived for several years. Elise expertly took some pictures of the Gorge’s ancient cave paintings and carvings, created by the so-called “Bushmen.” Some are damaged by time and human hands, but many are still visible.
Victoria Falls, Zambia. After arriving back in Kitwe and Mindolo, Muriel drove us to Ndola where we flew to Livingstone and the Falls. We rented a car, and saw many different views of the Falls. At the Maramba Cultural Centre, we saw likishi (Lunda and Luvale) traditional dancers. Besides the picture below, see the Zambezi Secondary School web page for another. David Musesa, one of the original students at ZSS, escorted us on several occasions.
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. After several days in Livingstone, we crossed into Zimbabwe. In the picture below, David Musesa is standing on the Zambian side of the border, whilst I am in Zimbabwe. The border had been often closed in past years due to fighting and while open, things remained a bit chaotic. For the first night in Zimbabwe, we stayed at the historic and magnificent Victoria Falls hotel with its Zimbabwean view of the Falls.
Hwange Game Park. From Victoria Falls, we drove south into the Hwange where we stayed one night inside the Park at the Sianamatella Lodge and another just outside the southern border at the Baobab Tree Hotel. Both proved delightful and were extraordinarily inexpensive. As it was the rainy season, many animals were dispersed, but the giraffes, hippos and zebras seemed to go out of their way to entertain us. I spent my 53rd birthday at the Lodge; a most joyous occasion.
Harare. From the town of Hwange, we flew directly to Harare for one night, staying at the old and elegant Jameson Hotel. We briefly met old friends that Zindi and I had known in both Syracuse( NY) and Lusaka: Drs. Rose and Sihkanyiso Ndlovu. We then flew directly to PE via Jo’burg.
Port Elizabeth. On 27th March, we arrived at the focal point of our trip to see Zindi and Mteto’s family. Because of apartheid, I had never met them before. Needless-to-say, we were treated royally by the extended Gqomo family for four days. Both Mother Gqomo (quite elderly) and I were nervous about meeting each other, but all shyness passed immediately. We became one happy, blended family. Zindi (and Mteto), the causes for our meeting, were much on our minds. Sipho (Aaron), Sandi (Samson) and Masinda (Rodgers) — my brothers-in-law — killed a sheep for me. We all shared delicious traditional food. Our few days passed quickly!
A Gqomo family addendum (8th Sept. 2014): Lungelwa Gqomo sent a cluster of three photos of herself, her mom (Sipho’s wife) and cousins (names under the photo cluster).
Another addendum (May 2015) from Lungelwa of others:
The Garden Route to Cape Town: stops in Plattenburg Bay, Oudtshoorn and Genadenal. A Gqomo family friend, Benny, along with Sipho, drove us along the scenic Garden Route to Cape Town as shown on the simple map below. Our first stop was at an elegant resort called Plattenburg Bay. Until a year before, it was for whites only. Sipho was very nervous eating in the dining room on the first night as we were the only multi-racial group in the whole large dining room. After his anxieties abated, we had a delightful stay. The next night we stayed in Oudtshoorn in a hot and dry mountain valley conducive for ostrich farms, which predominated everywhere. As in 1963, I had to “ride” (i.e., briefly sit) on an ostrich, not unlike a horse with feathers!
Genadendal. Our final stop (not overnight) was in Genadendal. Here, in 1963, I had spent a delightful New Year’s weekend at a multi-racial youth camp sponsored by the Moravian Church. (The whole community was (and still is) all so-called coloured that speaks Afrikaans. This time I did not get to climb up into the low-lying mountains in the background, but we were given a thoughtful tour of the historic church and its environs.
Cape Town and back to the USA. We spent three days being tourists through the city and drove out to the Cape Point. We especially enjoyed visiting Simonstown, an old port and then the point where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. Also in Cape Town, I meet old New York City friends, John and Nommso Stubbs, and also Robert Molteno’s brother, Frank and his family.
From Cape Town, we flew back to America via Johannesburg and Lusaka on Zambia Airways. It meant a very tedious all-night trip to London via Jo’burg and Lusaka. But one last delight awaited us in London: meeting Robert and Marion Molteno, my old comrades from UNZA days in Zambia. The picture shows our good-byes in Lusaka.
Reunions. The next year the AAD Family had a reunion in NYC, as shown on the left. I also visited Iceland and Germany to see Heidi. On the right I am celebrating with Mteto and Bwalya.
Pascal Bwalya Ndakala: A Zambian businessman in Iowa. In August 1990, Bwalya arrived in New York where he lived until January 1991. He then moved to Des Moines, Iowa to attend and then graduate from Drake University.
Rathbun and Southfork Marinas. After graduating from Drake University in 1995, Bwalya become the general manager of these two marinas in southern Iowa. He was there for fourteen years until he moved back to Des Moines. Currently he is a partner in a real estate company. Selected pictures follow of the marinas.
Docks and boats at Rathbun. Left: Pulling a boat out before winter; middle: Bwalya supervising; right: Bwalya as a super-expert mechanic.
Miscellaneous photos of Iowa and Alabama. Bwalya especially enjoyed hunting deer near Rathbun, which were so many that they were a menace in this rural area of southern Iowa. While in Iowa Fred and Sue Morton visited Rathbun and I also visited then. (They are now in Botswana.) I later visited Alabama to see my cousins, the Wrights the year after my final Rathbun pictures.
Large memorial celebration. In January 1997, Mteto and I sponsored a large party as a memorial to Zindi and other friends. It would our last, joint, large happy celebration with New York and southern African friends before Mteto died in 2006.