In the Matopos hills

We arrived at the national park an we're greeted by a baboon, who promptly headed into the bush as soon as he heard out horde of 11- and 12-year-olds.

Then we drove another 20-25 minutes, first on one-lane paved and then on dirt roads, until we arrived at the lodges.

The lodges themselves are quite nice, with electricity, indoor plumbing, and fabulous catering by Chef Matthias and his crew.

The roofs are traditional construction and quite geometrically interesting.

But what interested the students most as we arrived hot off the busses was the large pool, created in a natural granite basin.


A trip to Matopos

Today I am on my way to Matopos National Park, near the southern city of Bulawayo. We have a bus with 14 boys, and another with 16 girls, from grade 6.

Matopos is about a 6 hour drive from the school, depending on traffic and how many police stops there are. Around lunchtime, we stopped briefly for bathroom breaks and a cool drink.

Along the way the scenery was both familiar (sere grasses, dried by sun, with an occasional wildfire burn) and new (dotted not by sagebrush nor pine but by flat topped bushes/trees called thoi).



There are 3 main supermarket chains in Harare: Spar, TM, and Bon Marchè.

Today we walked with a friend about 2 kilometers (a little over 1 mile) to what we call the "Gucci" Spar. It's bigger than any other in the area and has the largest selection of foreign goods. As you might expect from our nickname for it, it also tends to have the highest prices (though it also has deals, you just have to comparison shop).

Our friend pointed out a display I was about to walk past: the milk company is giving away...cows!?! I read it twice before I really believed it.

- Matthew