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Keep a keen eye out for the most little of daily joys;
For the spirit that sees your own,
For the steady hand with a grip unflinching on your heart.

Cling to them deeply, lovingly, unrelentingly.
Until you can no more.
Then let them go.

This will save your life.

Remember not to lose yourself in the grief.

Let gentleness heal you. Let the pain teach you.
Every curve on your body,
Each hair on your precious head.

A caress, a whisper, a promise. Remember not to lose yourself in the grief.

This will save your life.
And your love.
And your life.

 

Ngoma Kurira

Early this year, my friends and I resolved that we would make  a a concerted effort to try new things. Specifically, we wanted to get out of the city more and see the rest of the country. What no one will tell you is that Harare is a very small city, with a limited amount of things to do, which can very quickly become not only boring, but pricey. Now don’t get me wrong, there are a few fun places  to hang out but it does get tedious finding yourself at the same three places every other weekend.

Fortunately, Zimbabwe is one of the most beautiful countries around, with breathtaking views and generous weather.  (This is not an ad I promise😉 ). There are some hidden gems that can buoy your weekend experiences at a pretty limited cost. You just have to be willing to try new things and have some hardy form of transportation (the roads can get a little dicey, I admit). Grab a hat, sunscreen, glasses, cooler box and a picnic basket, and you are all set for a fun day out.

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Tired from the hike, we fell asleep on the warm rocks.

About an hour drive from central Harare,(due to the road works; probably 30 to 40 minutes on a good day) is a great spot for a day out of the city.

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Roadworks slowed traffic a little.

 

Ngoma Kurira is located in the Domboshawa area.  The name loosely translates to “Beating of the Drums.” It is fantastic for a weekend hike with friends. A lovely steep climb to the top that will leave you sweaty and a little breathless true, but not overexerted. The views are gorgeous and what really strikes you is the  overwhelming quiet and calm.

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You pay about 4 dollars for entry as a local and 10 dollars if you’re a foreigner. The mountain does have cultural and spiritual significance so visitors are urged to be respectful while hiking, to pick up their trash and most importantly, to not  remove any artefacts found. You never know what you may take home!

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There are baboons on the mountain; some locals we met on the mountain explained. We were a little apprehensive when we heard them barking far off but they didn’t come near us. We initially thought someone was screaming loudly in the distance and that was a little less terrifying thought than that of a troop of angry baboons trying to scare us! You might also see some locals praying on the mountain. It’s very peaceful and quiet otherwise. There are also a number fresh water pools for a quick swim if you fancy. Particularly useful for a hot summer day.

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An afternoon out in the mountains is definitely a fantastic alternative to a day in the city limits. A great and cheap alternative way to spend the afternoon.  Load up the 4×4 and enjoy your weekend!

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Look East

I think I am always speaking on how much I love the Eastern Highlands. It has held a special place in my heart since my childhood holidays spent in the mountains, and I make it a point to go there once every year where possible. Over they years,  it has become a bit of a family tradition.

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psx_20180319_113855-1514196232.jpgIt is so reassuring to be able to go back to a place which never changes and which speaks to your spirit. Time slows down, things get a little clearer, and breathing becomes easier- literally and figuratively. I hope everyone has a place like that and that they never lose it.

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Zimbabwe is a really stunning country. There are parts of it that can leave you breathless, and the Eastern Highlands area has more than a fair share of those magic spots. Recently, some friends and I decided to head down for a weekend out of town and it was a really fun time. We did some hiking, some paragliding, a Skywalk. Unfortunately we didn’t get to do the white water rafting planned, but it was still a great weekend.

We stayed at an AirBnB in Selous, and drove out to do activities on Saturday and Sunday before heading back. There were 11 of us, so that definitely kept costs down. We filled up 3 cars, packed some food from the pantry, a few board games, a bar of alcohol, and headed out at early dawn.

 

The roads are smooth, wide and winding; the air is crisp and heady, and the spirit lifts a little with each step.

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Here are a few snaps from the weekend. Do you like travelling locally? What are some of the hidden gems in your country? Get out there and discover them, and drop me a comment below!

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A great weekend of fun in the mountains.

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Photo-Journal: A Taste of Zanzibar

Travel

Traveling is definitely one of my favorite things to do. Few things are as wonderful and satisfying  as the opportunity to experience new places, diverse cultures, people and of course, local cuisine.

Adventure Time 

While I have really been trying to not be a Judgmental Judy these days, I still struggle with the idea of people who travel, only to gripe about the culture and local food and loudly demand “normal food.”  You know the type I’m talking about! Of course we all crave a good burger once in a while, but when travelling, I really prefer to immerse my taste-buds in local flavours, experimenting with different food combinations, teasing my palate  a bit. If I don’t like it, so be it; now I know one more thing to not try next time!  To each their own I suppose, but I do highly recommend living a little, and being open to new experiences! It makes for a more satisfying and exciting experience.

 

Fun ‘n’ Fresh

Freshly squeezed fruit juice in the morning. Fresh fruit. And yes, I admit it, colourful citrusy cocktails! The holiday was in full swing and we were in higher spirits . My absolute favourite thing was a lime, ginger smoothie. My best friend, (whom I’ve seen drinking whiskey straight from the bottle by the way,) was complaining about the “kick. ” Imagine? I loved it and am still desperately trying to recreate it in my humble kitchen with my long-suffering blender.

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Fresh from the Mango tree.

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Coffee Time 

East African coffee is arguably some of the best coffee on this earth. I really enjoyed sampling the vast array of local flavours available.I am currently sipping on an intensely creamy, rich and fragrant vanilla coffee.

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Spanish Omelette, Toast and a rich coffee for brekkie.
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Gorgeous vintage coffee pot that I was desperately looking for everywhere around Zanzibar!

 

A Blogger’s Dream 

Stone Town Cafe, Stone Town; a Blogger’s Dream. We had a lovely leisurely lunch here after an eventful day of fun in the sun, sailing and snorkeling.

 

I’m still dreaming of these delicious enchilladas with a fresh and very spicy salsa! @Stone Town Cafe.

 

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A wonderful seafood pasta (that took forever to come while we were starving! )which we enjoyed by an oceanside cafe after a full day of walking, sightseeing and shopping.

 

A lovely green chicken curry with fragrant rice.

“Pig” in the Room

One of the things I did really hate,  was that there were so many things “off” the menu when we went out to order. And because Zanzibar is a primarily Muslim island, there was definitely no pork on the menu (I know!)  But we made the best of it and survived a bacon and rib-free week!  Voila.

European Style

Like I said, sometimes you crave a little taste of home and something familiar to rest the palate! We found ourselves at the Hilton in Nungwi for this, and indulged in some lovely eats. Not local recipes, but fresh locally sourced products, and delicious offerings.

Fresh prawns in a garlic sauce. Always a winning combination.
Calamari snack.
I swore I would learn to make this dish once I got home and I’m almost there! Ravioli in a pumpkin, cream cheese, mushroom and tomato basil sauce. Unbelievably rich and filling.

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Spicy!

The visit to the Spice farm was one of my favorite parts of the trip. We went to Jambo Spice farm and spent the morning with a local guide showing us all the different spices and plants indigenous to the island. The guided tour included a live coconut picking skit, fresh fruit tasting, and the chance to buy some spices after the tour.

Easy like Sunday afternoons.

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One of the coolest guys I’ve ever met. He scaled a coconut tree for us and gave a proper show!
Fragrant lemon grass straight from the field.
My friend could not get over the fact that Pineapples grow in the ground.

Dreaming of Zanzibar  

Zanzibar remains one of my favourite travel destinations, and I have no doubt I will be returning to explore the delicious food, some sun and friendly people soon!

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KWAHERI! Tutaonana baadaye. 

A hymn of Thanksgiving and Praise 💛🌻💛

Sustained by my Mother’s prayers,
Her Mother’s prayers,
My Father’s Mother’s prayers; namesake.

The steady unwavering hand of my Father,
Strong, silent, ever present.

The light of my sisters,
The fierce competition and righteous anger,
The tears and the fights!
Mellowed into friendship and love over the years,
Companionship and sisterhood. Life.

The laughs of my friends,
The easy summer nights,
Forgiving and growing,
Grieving and healing.
Nurturing this adult.

Light from light.
Golden and radiant.
Grateful and blessed.
A birthday hymn.