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Africa 4 – Grilled Cheese in Zimbabwe

March 12, 2007

At the end of our time in Lesotho, we said goodbye to all our friends and parted ways in Johannesburg to make ready for our trip to Zimbabwe to meet our sponsored child, Otillia. Great joy awaited us here.

We arrived in Harare to find that one of our bags didn’t arrive with us. Missing was my suitcase that held my clothes and, more importantly, the gifts we had brought for Otillia and her family.

We were picked up at the airport and escorted to the World Vision head office where we met with their entire staff, including the recently installed director of operations there, C. Thulani Magagula. We sat in his office for a couple hours and were given intimate access to his life and work. He was formerly the director for the Swaziland offices and offered us great insights into Zimbabwe and the challenges World Vision faces in Africa where many of the governments lack a good infrastructure. After our talk with him, we saw the world in a new light and understood the value of stable governments that make so many good things possible.

Thulani is a man who has devoted his life to the Christian work of serving the poor, he is humble, strong, intelligent, and brave, and lives courageously in the face of a work that costs him much. We felt so honored to have had the time with him, knowing we were in the presence of a great man who had seen and endured much, but remained infectiously hopeful and optimistic.

We were taken to our hotel to prepare for our trip the following morning to Gokwe ADP to meet Otillia. We stayed at a Holiday Inn (!!). It was strange to travel all the way to Zimbabwe to stay at a Holiday Inn. But at least there were garbage cans and outlets where you might expect them, and we had a killer grilled cheese sandwich in the hotel restaurant. Taya and I are adventurous eaters, but to be honest it was a relief to have a simple grilled cheese sandwich after eating warthog, kudu, and all kinds of other mysterious foods the previous week.

It was the best grilled cheese sandwich I’ve ever had.

Read next: Africa 5 – “Well done, well done” and Meeting Otillia, our sponsored child 

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