Zimbabwe: to Bulawayo and back (not for the birthday)

Our approach into Bulawayo in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe

Our approach into Bulawayo in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe

I was born in this country, and lived here for a quarter of a century … yet, because our focus was our farm many miles away to the north, its second city is new to me.

Below are acres of wet, green trees.  Bulawayo’s drought has broken.

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Five days in the suburbs of Harare, capital of Zimbabwe

Coming in to land at Harare International Airport in Zimbabwe

Coming in to land at Harare International Airport in Zimbabwe

We fly in to the land where I was born and raised.  She is green from the recent rains and dusted with small white clouds.

I have not been back for fourteen years.

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Update: Zimbabwe’s wild-born elephants flown to China

A baby elephant and family

“… But there was one Elephant–a new Elephant–an Elephant’s Child–who was full of ‘satiable curtiosity, and that means he asked ever so many questions. And he lived in Africa, and he filled all Africa with his ‘satiable curiosities …”
(Rudyard Kipling’s ‘ The Elephant’s Child’)

A deal has been done – a sale has been agreed and the animals delivered … but not everyone is happy. The animals sold are young, wild-born Zimbabwean elephants, and the buyer is China.

Zimbabwe is selling not just the family jewels, it’s selling family.  It is exporting them as though they were goods, to a remote land that has little experience of the needs of this great, intelligent species.

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African charity ZANE: Tom Benyon OBE and his team set off again to raise money

Ambleside - Adrian Warren & Dae Sasitorn/www.lastrefuge.co.uk

Ambleside – Adrian Warren & Dae Sasitorn/www.lastrefuge.co.uk

(March 2015: Relaunch of a piece about ZANE’s 2014 walk.)

Tom Benyon OBE has decided it’s the perfect time to strike out on another walk to raise money for the charity ZANE (Zimbabwe a National Emergency).

England is all sunshine and has been for a while.  Half the population is draped across greenery under the nearest available sunbeam.

It’s the sensible thing to do … unless you’re Tom.

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African charity ZANE: fundraisers reach end of their walk in Oxford

 

Tom Benyon OBE (ZANE), his wife Jane and their dog Leah, reach the end of their 2013 fundraising walk for  ZANE

Tom Benyon OBE (ZANE), his wife Jane and their dog Leah, reach the end of their 2013 fundraising walk for ZANE

(March 2015: Relaunch of a piece about the end of  ZANE’s 2013 walk.)

He hit the finish at pace.  Tom Benyon OBE, his wife Jane and dog Leah strode the final mile to the Martyrs’ Memorial in Oxford  in full sunshine and right on schedule.

They had covered well over two hundred and fifty miles on foot from Holyhead to Oxford and they had raised, again, thousands of pounds for the bereft in Zimbabwe.

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African charity ZANE: Tom Benyon OBE has fundraising walk planned

Tom Benyon OBE and his wife Jane on the last day of their walk from York to Canterbury 2012

Tom Benyon OBE and his wife Jane on the last day of their walk from York to Canterbury 2012

(March 2015: Relaunch of a piece about plans for ZANE’s 2013 walk.)

Help! He’s at it again – Tom Benyon OBE, a man in his prime, is about to set off on another charity walk.

The route, programmed to take less than a month, is Holyhead to Oxford – just under 280 miles.

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Tips: Re-publishing a post on WordPress; (and ZANE)

Tom and Jane Benyon of ZANE preparing to leave York on their 2012 fundraising walk to Canterbury

Tom and Jane Benyon of ZANE, and fellow hikers, preparing to leave York on their 2012 fundraising walk to Canterbury

Old blog-posts can be brought out into the light by re-publishing.  It’s worth it if they’re about anything as important and excellent as ZANE (Zimbabwe a National Emergency).

ZANE is a small, UK-based charity that puts its heart into raising money for the team on the ground in Zimbabwe who care for some of the country’s most destitute and vulnerable.

I first met the UK ZANE team in 2012.  At the time I was a fledgling blogger who hardly understood which way was up.  I’m slightly better now and keen to try to do more justice to ZANE.

One slight problem – re-blogging is not as easy as I thought it would be.

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