April 2007
walking the dogs at Ethandweni

At Ethandweni, deep in the Matopo Hills south of Bulawayo, the dogs always enjoy a walk down to the dam.

The hills that tower above the orphanage are home to a troop of baboons. The dogs are useful to keep them at bay.

They aren't so welcome if you actually want to see the baboons! I used to sneak down to the dam without them when I stayed at Ethandweni for two months in 2004. Their absence allowed me to get closer to the baboons and the fish eagles nesting on stumps in the water.

On this walk, I caught a whiff of strong musky spoor on the path. Probably one of the leopards these hills are home to. The dogs were very aware of it too.

Time for a refreshing dip and drink.

Some of the older boys had been making mud bricks for their school.

Some of the older boys had been making mud bricks for their school.

 

Tiny flowers on the path - growing slower than the rapidly inflating Zim $500 note I've used to indicate scale.

 

busy busy busy...

This area is much greener than when I was last here - it was interesting to see some epiphytes.

 

trotting back home again

 

Ethandweni is full of beautiful things.

 

Little Mis, the elderly cat who lost an eye to snake venom as a kitten, is sadly too old and ill to do much any more.

Shes lost so much weight she feels like a tiny kitten again. Mis was to be put peacefully to sleep the week after my visit.

The boys were playing football with kids from the surrounding villages.

I caught up with friends old and new.

Ethandweni is such a beautiful, spiritual and peaceful place, that its sometimes easy to forget how traumatic some of these young childrens' early lives were, and how difficult life in the surrounding rural areas is.

I spent a few nights here, catching up with the children and updating their profiles.