Here is another story about travelling and crossing borders.
Chipo is Pedzi's sister. She lives in Durban, South Africa, with her husband and 9 months old baby and has not seen her family for two years. Until a couple of weeks ago when she decided to make a surprise appearance. As only warning to her visit, Pedzi received a call late in the evening from her. “I'm in Beitbridge (the border town in Zim), I'm tired, can I come?”
The next day, Pedzi goes to fetch her at lunch time (which implies jumping on an overcrowded commuter bus to the main bus station in town, and back again) and turns up again late in the afternoon. “I'm so sorry I'm late. I had to wait for two hours because my sister's bus broke down. Come and see my sister”.
So here is the sister sitting on Pedzi's bed in her little room with her little boy looking at me with his big black eyes, surrounded by the most enormous suitcase I've ever seen, a big bulky bucket, a baby bath and a couple of other smaller bags. After all the introductions, this is the story of their journey that I get.
Left Durban on Sunday evening to take a night bus to Johannesburg. Arrived very early in the morning in Jo'burg. Waited all day for another bus to Harare. Got on the bus in the afternoon. Border control (slow). Arrived in Beitbridge in the night where the bus stopped for the night (all passengers stay on board and try to sleep). Left Beitbridge on Tuesday early morning, bus breaks down on the way. Arrived at Harare central bus station mid-afternoon. Commuter bus (or did they treat themselves to a taxi ride, I can't remember). Arrived here with the baby and all the stuff. Man. How did she do it?? No wonder she is tired. And the financial cost aside, no wonder she only travels once every two years.