Scatterlings of Africa

Memories of Africa from a post I wrote two years ago, hope you enjoy.

Retirement and beyond

This  song was written by a South African singer, Johnny Clegg, and tells about the many people who were born in Africa, or  who, like me,  lived there for a considerable time, and are now scattered all over the world.

I was born in Ireland, but moved to Zimbabwe (then known as Rhodesia) in the 70s when I was newly wed and looking for adventure and a new life.    My four children were born there, and I stayed in Zimbabwe until 2002, almost 30 years.  We lived in a peaceful country with a great climate, in a country with lots of natural beauty, and with lots of wildlife and amazing scenery, sunrises and  sunsets like no other.   Life was good, we watched our children take their first steps, starting their own big adventures, learning to walk, learning to run, but always within the comfort of home and within…

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Half Light : Weekly Photo Challenge

Ballycotton LighthouseThe picture of Ballycotton Lighhouse, in East Cork, was taken in the early afternoon, but rain clouds overhead were gathering, and it looked like evening time.

Sunset over Lake Kariba

The sky above was a sunset photo taken at Lake Kariba, in Zimbabwe, a country that always has spectacular sunrises and sunsets, especially when there are clouds around.

African sunsets always remind me of the song by Toto – I bless the rains down in Africa, and the chorus goes –

I bless the rains down in Africa
I bless the rains down in Africa
(Ah, gonna take the time)
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

Rains in Africa are sometimes fairly scarce, (not like Ireland and England usually), so they are very welcome when they do arrive.

Linked to Daily Post : Half Light

 

Travel Theme : Grasses

Dry mountain grasses

Dry mountain grasses

Grass is usually a shade of green, but sometimes in summer/autumn the colour can change as the grass dies and waits for the new growth in spring.

Clumps of grass

Clumps of grass

Here is a nice contrast to the two photos above, a well cared for edging showing green grass and daffodils

Crosshaven Walkway

Crosshaven Walkway

And of course golf courses often have the best grass, to help that little white ball run a long way!

2013-07-18 16.03.14

While the grass on the roadside looks different again…

Roadside grass

Roadside grass

The African bush looks a little different, but still the grass grows there.

African bush

African bush

Linked to Ailsa’s Where’s my Backpack

Scatterlings of Africa

 

 

This  song was written by a South African singer, Johnny Clegg, and tells about the many people who were born in Africa, or  who, like me,  lived there for a considerable time, and are now scattered all over the world.

I was born in Ireland, but moved to Zimbabwe (then known as Rhodesia) in the 70s when I was newly wed and looking for adventure and a new life.    My four children were born there, and I stayed in Zimbabwe until 2002, almost 30 years.  We lived in a peaceful country with a great climate, in a country with lots of natural beauty, and with lots of wildlife and amazing scenery, sunrises and  sunsets like no other.   Life was good, we watched our children take their first steps, starting their own big adventures, learning to walk, learning to run, but always within the comfort of home and within arms reach for cuddles and comforting when they fell down.  Then there was kindergarten, nursery school, junior school, senior school, with everyone still living at home, and being part of the family.

Watching

Watching

Then came 1993, and the day our oldest girl got accepted into Cape Town University, over two and a half thousand kilometres away, in another country.  We took her to the train station, and off she went with several friends also on their way to university in South Africa, all of them full of excitement for the new adventure ahead, while we stood and waved and smiled, all the time with a little tear inside for the loss of our first child as she moved on with her life.  I remember thinking, this is it, she is growing up, and things will never be the same again.   Still, think of the long holidays, when she will be home again, and the new place we get to visit……

A few short years later, she was graduating and coming back to teach in her old school for a year, and even better still, living at home, (if only for a short while), before she spread her wings again and moved to London, then Kenya, back to London, and right now teaching in Norway.   More new places we get to visit….

Then it came time for our second girl to leave senior school, she decided to stay in Zimbabwe and do her university education there, so there was not much trauma or parting this time round.

In the late 90s the country was changing and going through a tremendous hyper inflation period, goverment was starting to go off the rails, and there was a lot of political unrest, corruption, and unemployment in the country.   A  lot of people were talking of leaving Zimbabwe, especially those with teenage sons and daughters, as the education system was not looking as bright as it had been.   Slowly we said goodbye to family and friends, as they left Zimbabwe to scatter to all corners of the world, on many occasions not through choice, and became ‘the scatterlings of Africa’.

How far would you like to go?

How far would you like to go?

The year 2000 was a particularly bad year in Zimbabwe, with a lot of political unrest, and many farming families evicted from their farms, some of them brutally beaten or even murdered by the ‘farm invaders’.   Many books and articles have been written on this subject, but it is a time in our lives that will never be forgotten, and today if you travel to any of the neighbouring African countries, or even to Australia or New Zealand, you will be bound to come across someone who once farmed, or had connections to farmers, from Zimbabwe.

That period was a traumatic time for me also, in 2000 my older son turned 18 and came to live in Ireland so that he could complete his education and go to university, luckily he was able to stay with family over here, and in 2002 I finally took the plunge and came back home as my youngest son turned 18 and wanted to go to university here also.  My marriage broke up, I faced an uncertain future, and the hardest thing was packing up and leaving my daughter behind while the boys and myself started a new life in Ireland.   More new places to visit…..

Watching the sun set.

Watching the sun set.

Now over 40 years since I said goodbye to my own family and friends as I left for Zimbabwe, I have people and places to visit – a daughter in Zimbabwe, a daughter in Norway, a son in Dubai, and this weekend I have just said goodbye again – this time my older son and his partner leave Ireland for their new life and new careers in London.   Now I am childless in my own country, the wheel has come full circle, and as I smile and wave, and shed a tear,  I think of all the goodbyes over the years, and the reunions to look forward to, and of course the new places to visit…

And we are scatterlings of Africa
Both you and I
We are on the road to Phelamanga
Beneath a copper sky
And we are scatterlings of Africa
On a journey to the stars
Far below we leave forever
Dreams of what we were

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge : Afloat

Boats and Hippos

Boats and Hippos

This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge has afloat as it’s theme, and the above photo combines floating boats, a jetty, and a few hippo in the background keeping cool in the water and watching us as we prepare to go afloat!

Juno keeping cool in the heat

Juno keeping cool in the heat

And a swimming pool is the ideal place to cool down in the African heat, especially if you are a White Shepherd with lots of fur!

Clouds afloat in the sunset

Clouds afloat in the sunset

I think the best sunsets are those that have lots of clouds afloat in the sky, to make the colours more interesting.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge : Colourful Monotones

Sunset in Africa

Sunset in Africa

I hope you enjoy my colourful monochromes of African skies, check out Cee’s blog for more!

A storm on the way

A storm on the way

Also linked to Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge

A Moment in Time

One, two, three, Jump

One, two, three, Jump

Fleeting moments that we capture on camera bring back good memories of something that would otherwise be only a memory.  This photo was taken on a hilltop in the Matopos, near Bulawayo, Zimbabwe a few years ago where we went to watch the sunset while having a few ‘sundowners’.    Some of us can jump higher than others!

Linked to WPC : Ephemeral

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