chapter 3 – Outside Zim Borders

OUTSIDE ZIM BORDERS

WRITTEN BY PAULINE MACHENGO
CHAPTER 3

Edited by Chris Walker

‘Go well my daughter, may the Holy Spirit be with you throughout your journey’.

My pastor’s words were echoing in my ears like sea waves. I was therefore assured that my journey was going to be a safe one. I wasn’t scared of anything.

I was now sitting on my seat number 27 😄😄 I still remember that. It was a three seater well I regretted buying a seat like that. How was I going to spend three days squeezing with people on that little seat? I checked above and saw a charging port. Well that was better at least the journey was not going to be boring plus that dude I had a dream about. I smiled to myself.

People were getting in the bus. Everyone was checking their seat number and took their seats. For now I was still alone and I prayed for that guy to join me only.

As I was looking at the door, I saw this man – a well built man making his way into the bus. He checked his ticket and walk straight to my direction. I was praying in my mind that he will not be my seatmate. I saw him checking my seat and his ticket then he looked at my pulled face. He smiled at me and I just stared at him with an angry face. He proceeded to an empty seat opposite mine and he sat there.

I released the air I was holding. At least he wasn’t my seatmate. I was not going to spend a three day journey with someone so old like him. The man was so well built for his age. He had a nice body. He was maybe in his early forties. Who in her right mind could enjoy sit with that uncle? Not me.

I continued watching people getting inside the bus hoping for a miracle to come but with no luck. A lot of people were putting blankets into the shelves and I was wondering why. I had left mine in the bus boot, and I only got inside with a small bag that had my toiletries, travelling documents and a small blanket that my mother insisted that I should carry. I had R300 for food and I felt it was enough since I don’t have a tendency of eating whilst traveling.

My mind drifted back to my home. Chris had refused to watch me leaving. He had told me that I should not even bother to call him. I was missing him already. But he had ended things with me😭😭. I snapped out of my thoughts as a voice shouted at me.

“Sisi tati tipei R10 ye gate pass kana musingade moburuka mozokwirira panze kuna fourth uko” (Sister give us R10 to get a pass if you don’t have you can go out and board the bus at fourth taxi rank)

I assumed this was the bus assistant or who ever he was I didn’t care but why was he rude. I took out the R10 and gave him and he proceeded to the next seat. As I was closing my bag another voice roared in my ears.

“Sister this is my seat so can you put your bag there so that I can seat” That uncle was there right in my face. So my prayers were not answered😭😭. Why?. “Askana zvandichato donha imi makangondi yeva” ( what if I fall down whilst you’re staring at me)

“Sorry” I said that removing my bag not even trying to hide the irritation on my face.
The bus was now making its way out of the port – it was peak hour so the bus was moving slowly.

We were now at corner Robert Mugabe Street and Fourth Street robots (traffic lights) when this other guy boarded the bus. He was breathing profusely. He might have been running from the Roadport terminus. He nearly missed the bus. I wonder where was he all along or maybe he didn’t want to pay the gate pass. I giggled to myself.

Uncle gave me a look and shook his head. He might have thought that I’m some kinda lunatic. To hell with his thoughts. That wasn’t going to stop me from going to Cape Town.

That guy who entered the bus was now sitting right opposite to us and he was looking so nervous. He was wearing a black T shirt , a pair of jeans and some pushers. He didn’t have a jacket.

I saw this man (uncle) sitting with me looking at that guy.

“Mukoma makuenda Ku Cape Town hahaha, welcome to Cape Town mukoma. Apa hamuna kana henyu juzi” (Brother you’re now going to Cape Town, welcome to Cape Town. And you don’t even have a jacket)…he said that whilst laughing…🙄such a stupid man. This journey was going to be long and boring…

Much more to come…already chapters 4 and 5 are in my possession ready to be edited…thanks to the recent donations I am going to publish them in the coming days along with any other news on all things Pakati.

It seems clear that exam classes will return across Zimbabwe, but still unclear precisely when, though I am waiting for updates from my contacts in the area on preparations. In the meantime, please see https://www.facebook.com/2258900347689003/posts/2665646133681087/ here is what is going on with Friends of Pakati and VaTonatsa Foundation – full details to come about what is being done and what it costs. We are delighted with the collaboration.

Author:

My name is Chris Walker, and between January 1989 and September 1991 I worked, through VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas), at Pakati Secondary School in Murehwa South district in Zimbabwe. I was a Maths teacher for 2 years, the Acting Head for the last 8 months there. I have also taught in Botswana & the UK, had 4 years working for VSO, and spent the last 14 years as a Civil Servant in Bradford. I married a Zimbabwean woman & we have 2 sons.

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