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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Travels and Trials

I drove 1000 km yesterday; I don’t recommend it to anyone. I am definitely not cut out to be a long distance truck driver-my sincere sympathy to anyone in that field. The trip was a quick rush to Bulawayo (the second largest city in Zimbabwe) to drop my sister and another visitor back at work. Originally they were to catch a bus down but unfortunately the company that operates the main bus service only allows you to book tickets a week in advance (as they are unsure of fuel supplies). The interpretation of a week in advance is that starting on Monday you can book for any day that week (till Sunday) but on Tuesday you can only book till Sunday, on Wednesday till Sunday etc, until you get to the following Monday where you can book for that week. Stupid I know but a method of the company coping in Zimbabwe. The nation is full of last-minute, nonsensical ideas that are an attempt to cope backwards with the situation. There may be a better way but they haven’t thought of it yet. Hence the price trebled in the week between my sister’s arrival and departure without me being able to book a ticket in advance. Thus I found myself on a rather long round trip yesterday. Managed to stop at my sister’s workplace, Chipangli Wildlife Orphanage, long enough to get a whistle tour before heading back.

While the trip down was filled by my sister’s almost incessant conversation, the solo trip back gave plenty of time for reflection and thought in between dodging the occasional potholes that lie in wait seeking to disrupt the unsuspecting motorist. Have a few things to think about before putting them into action. The main thought yesterday was the idea of ‘The Wilderness’. If you study history there are multiple characters that ‘failed’ or ended up in a wilderness (or prison) for a season before their moment of greatness. Churchill warned of Hitler and was ignored, Lincoln never made it to President on the first shot, Al Gore lost to Bush before taking up the environmental baton, biblical Joseph had a jail cell and Moses spent more time in the wilderness than in Egypt. Dr John Stanko has been having his ‘Celebrate a Failure Week’, the point of which is to help us realise that times of failure should not be stopping points of discouragement but rather points to learn from and grow forward. Current anonymity and setback should not be a time to give up on the dream but to reflect, learn and go on.

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