Looking back – arriving at Pakati 1 year ago

My flight by Kenya Airways, docked at Schipol International Airport, Amsterdam, Holland.

12 months ago I arrived in Zimbabwe for a memorable visit, to bring the donated computers, equipment and football shirts to Pakati schools. I landed at RGM International Airport, Harare, to be met by my hostess for the first night, Donna.

The first day was not particularly warm in Harare, though the welcome certainly was. Donna’s two boys were very happy to see me as I had brought some gifts for everyone.

My hostess, below, Donna:

The donated goods were kept safe by Donna, securely stored away from prying eyes, until my arrival.

Next day, a Thursday, I travelled from Donna’s place in the Harare suburbs, setting off for Pakati with my good friend, Bothwell Riside. He was also my driver, host, companion, translator and guide whenever I needed. The journey to Pakati took around 2 hours with a couple of brief stops…here are some pics while travelling:

The Harare-Murewa-Mutoko road
About 60km from Harare is the turn-off towards Musami, known as paCross
About 10km from the turn-off is the small Township of Musami. Just before entering Musami is a signboard for Pakati, now off the tarred roads.
Once across the Shavanhowe river, turn right and pass Ngomamowa hill, and just a few km further is the main signboard for Pakati….
…..where the nearby Njenje family gave me a very warm welcome!

I finally made it down to the Secondary school, where they had been keenly awaiting our arrival. We set about unloading everything, before putting them in a secure room ready for the celebaration and formal presentation to the two schools and local community the next day.

We then set up some of thr equipment to make sure nothing had been damaged in transit.

Once everything was tried out and safely stored, I then joined my friend Bothwell at his family homestead very close to the Secondary school, where I was staying for the few days of my visit to Pakati. Once more I was made incredibly welcome, and could not have been better looked after at a 5* hotel.

There will be much more in the next post, as I look back at one of the most extraordinary days of my life, as I called it last year, a truly remarkable day at Pakati.


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 have been a Civil Servant in Bradford since 2005.

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