DY: In Just a Few Words (#125)
Sometimes the craziest stories are the true ones.
I’ve been asked more than once how it is that we took a trip to Zimbabwe.
Where is that? It’s a landlocked African country bordered by better-known neighbors, including Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia and South Africa.
What follows in this saga will probably make no sense to blog readers, but it’s the truth.
I am pretty certain we were among the first people ever to arrive in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) with two Africa travel books AND maps of Africa. In those days, we were traveling with our friends, Jim and Barb, and the four of us had been discussing an African adventure for some months. What better place to focus on a future destination than the BVI, one of the world’s most beautiful locations. Great conversation for Happy Hour.
On our second BVI day, we got on one of the resort's snorkel boats. There were about 25 people on this excursion. Before we got to the snorkeling site, the mate decided to go around and have each person say where they were from. Kansas. England. Germany. Rhode Island. Japan. And so on.
We were seated in the stern. As the name-game continued, it reached a gentleman in the bow and he responded, Zimbabwe. What? That's in Africa. There’s somebody onboard from Africa? We gotta meet this guy. And, so we did. His name was Basil. We told him of our interest in visiting Africa and arranged to meet him another day for a late afternoon pick-me-up.
We asked what he did at home and he modestly offered up that he was a farmer who had immigrated with his parents from their native England to Zimbabwe after the Second World War.
The conversation went on a bit longer, and he asked what we would like to do if and when we would actually go to his region. Of course, seeing animals was at the head of our list. And, the world-famous Victoria Falls was right behind that.
In addition to some farming, I also own a travel agency, he said. I’ll make all the arrangements for you. When you’re done with the itinerary I prepare, the four of you will come back to our farm for a few days. We gulped and managed to say, Sounds good. See you in Zim.
Was our new friend Basil for real? Were we being tricked into traveling thousands of miles and spending thousands of perfectly good U.S. dollars by somebody we didn't know? Was the beautiful BVI sun impacting our ordinarily good judgment? This guy seemed for real, but there is an old expression that applies to situations like this. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. But we were naive, trusting kids in our late 50s, and we didn’t know any better at the time.
So, we placed ourselves into the hands of our new best friend, Basil. For that day, it was Karen, Davis and two friends signing off from the British Virgin Islands. Soon we would be signing off from Zim.
Next week’s blog will let you know how it all worked out. Stay tuned.
As I sign off today, I am listening to a CD titled ZimDance Vol. 1, the best of Zimbabwean Party Music. How great is that?
DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.
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