The Great Zimbabwe, グレートジンバブエ
I was heading to Great Zimbabwe ruin, a UNESCO sight.
It will be one of the highlights in Zimbabwe, so I was looking forward to visiting it.
This over thousand years old ruin is very rare in Africa because there are not any history of civilization left where Black African created in Africa.


より大きな地図で Cycling East Africa 2/2 を表示

I have been cycling quite in a while in Africa now and started more understand the people here.
African is generally very individualists and don't have patriotic spirit for their country. Their behavior are pretty much depended on their family and tribe.
By that reason, Black African had not left any history of civilization. But it was exceptional for Zimbabwe.
Great Zimbabwe ruin is the trace of the history and people worked together for the nation.
This tradition has been passed down from generation to generation. Many people in Zimbabwe is proud of this country.


I was thinking those things while riding to south. Then, after 4 days, I arrived to the ruin. In couple of nights on my way, people in the villages let me stay their home. The scenery became more like savanna.


The Ruins were made simply without mortar. They used many many rocks cut into similar shape.


In generally, Africans are lazy and work very slowly as long as I've seen so far. I couldn't imagine how long it took to be completed, and how difficult people supervised workers to get things done properly for such a big ruin. It was very impressive monument for me.


Zimbabwe is impressive country.
This is one of the most successful countries in Africa where Black African held main leadership.
Country is created by people. Those people have to be hard workers to make their country better, so I think Zimbabwean is more hard workers than other African nations.
They still have unique culture left such as music and traditional ceremony as well.
I like this country a lot.

[2014/02/28 17:56 ] | Zimbabwe | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
Broken pump, 空気入れ壊れる
It's been a while since I was out of pedaling. Now started cycling again. The weather was good so nice to cycle.


I have been having hard time for punctures these days. I have to fix it almost every two days. I got used to it, but it was not easy in this time.
I got my pump broken so couldn't get the air in by any how.
Some local people helped me but not successful.


Then, a local man came to me and bring me to a farmer. We walked with my tire for 30min. Then, we found the pump from junk pile. It worked, so I could get the air in.


I started cycling without the pump so was a bit nervous. If I get the puncture again on my way, it would be a disaster.
Eventually, I survived and arrived to a town without problems. Then I found the same pump I used at the farmer's home. I bought it. It was really cheap; only $2! worked fine.


My old pump was about $30. My new pump is only $2. I felt I was a bit stupid having expensive things. Cycling tour might be more easier than I thought. I think many people, including me are over investing for the equipments.
I could buy many good cheap things after I started my journey.

[2014/02/25 17:56 ] | Zimbabwe | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
Function day2, 精霊の儀式2日目
In the Next day, I was woke up by Mbira music. The ceremony was still continued. Players kept playing Mbira alternately.
When I went to the living room, many people had been gone and some were sleeping on the floor. Everyone seemed exhausted.


Women of this house had no time to rest. They were already up and started preparing breakfast.


The sponsor guy also seemed exhausted. However, he looked happy since he had enough conversation with the spirit.


At the noon, the ceremony was still on going. We were exhausted and very hungry.
It's time for the lunch. They had had some alive chickens yesterday. They killed those in this morning and treated all the guests with them.


I don't know when the spirits went away from the body but by the noon, Garikayi became normal already. Another person who had shaken last night was gone.
By the late afternoon, many people had been gone. Then, the sponsor guy talked in front of the people, and they played Mbira to bring to the finish the ceremony. It was finally ended, I thought.


Even though the ceremony was over, there were still a lot of alcohol, 7days left. We kept drunk and played Mbira.
I don't know when it was exactly over but seemed ended when we drunk all alcohol.
Through this experience, I was more interested in Zimbabwe and loving people here. Their spiritualism and hospitality seemed the link to Japanese culture.

[2014/02/24 10:13 ] | Zimbabwe | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
Function, 精霊の儀式まで
The perpetration of The ceremony had been already started when I got there. At the beginning, they start making local alcohol called "7 days". As the name shows, it has to be fermented for 7 days.

儀式の準備は7days と呼ばれる酒を作り初めるところから始まるそうだ。名前の通り、7日間かけて作る。自分が到着した時には既にドラム缶に入った大量のエキスが発酵を始めていた。

This woman from country village was in charge of it.

She was also a good teacher for kids. I saw many times she scolding little boys.


Children were always sweet. In many African family, there were some little kids, so the family is generally busy.
Also, in many case, some freeloaders live in the family, so the family became even more crowded by them.


After few days, the time had been come. Many people started coming to the house. By the late afternoon, the living room was full of people.
The woman brought "7 days" in some cray pods, and the ceremony had been started.


As the sun went down, Mbira was started playing. We drunk alcohols and danced, and the ceremony became more and more fervent.


People kept coming in. By the mid night, the ceremony became full of excitement. We danced like crazy even the women with babies.


As the excitement reached to the peak, the Mbira master player, Garikayi was started changing his behavior. He stopped playing and talking uncertain way. He stood up and moved away to a room. After a while, he came back with a decorated hair ornament on his head. Seemed a spirit got into his body.


After some moment, another person had started shaking crazy and talking strange way.
From this point, the time of contact with spirit had been started. We, just guests or mbira players have no way to interrupt their conversation. The people who needed to talk have a chance to talk to the spirit now.
The old man of sponsor for this event was already drunk but in this time, he was very patient.


I gave up at 3am by drinking and dancing since late afternoon. I crashed in to the bed and slept like dead man.
This ceremony wouldn't be finished by next day and keep continuing.


[2014/02/23 10:10 ] | Zimbabwe | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
Staying in Mbare, ムバレで生活スタート
The ceremony will be held in Mbare, Chitungwiza, a town 30km south from Harare.


Mbare is a residence area where Black people had to live during racist white minority running government. Still now, all people living in Mbare are black and most of them are low income. This area is not very organized and crowded with small houses.


Local Mbira players live in this area, and Japanese Mbira player, Sumi lives together with them. I cannot imagine how tiring for him to live in this area. I'm really respect him.


I moved out from the guest house in Harare 5 days before the ceremony starts.
When I got there, Sumi's friends from Japan had already come. There were 4 Japanese started staying at this home.
In this local family, they had about 16 people, as long as I saw live in the same house, so 20 of us lived together.


I have stayed at local family of African for many times but this was the first time for long term.
I was a bit nervous at the beginning because this residence area was in Mbare. However, it was fun to live and good experience to see the life of people closely.

[2014/02/21 02:01 ] | Zimbabwe | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
Good coincidence, 縁だね
Somehow many musicians were staying at the same guesthouse where I stayed. Some play marimba and some play guitars.
Camping was a bit expensive here; $9, but this guest house, it's small world backpackers was very comfortable.

ハラレで泊まっていた宿は偶然なのか何なのか楽器弾きが沢山集まっている宿だった。ギターやらマリンバやら世界から色々な人達が集結していた。なかなかな宿It's small world backpackers テント泊で$9 だけれどすごく居心地が良い。

There were Japanese musicians as well, and they were playing an instrument that I've never seen. They told me it was called Mbira in Zimbabwe.


This simple instrument sounds very nicely. Normally, couple or more are played together but even only one sounds very beautifully. I loved it.
Mbira is believed as the instrument that makes a sounds calling spirit of ancestor. In Zimbabwe, there are many animism left, so people still use Mbira to contact their ancestor.


For us as Japanese, animism is easy to understand. We enshrine a big tree or spiritual place as a god dwelling inside. We cerebrate "O-Bon", an invent cerebrating our ancestor once a year. Many people still love to visit spiritual places.


This spiritual invent calling spirit is actually rare in Zimbabwe. They don't do it many times; I've hard that they did only a few times during an year. When someone wants to ask or tell something to their ancestor, this event, they call "Function" will be scheduled.
When I was in Harare, I wasn't expect function. I was just enjoying listening the sound of Mbira.
It was just a coincidence. I met a Japanese Mbira player, Sumi who has been living with local Mbira player. He was visiting my guest house for refreshing from staying local house for long time. He told me that there would be the function next week at his host family's home, and anyone could be attended.
I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to see such an event, so I decided to extend my stay of Harare. My goal will be a bit delayed but it's no point to be hurly. I was very excited.

[2014/02/19 01:15 ] | Zimbabwe | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
On my way to Harare, ハラレに向かう道中
I safely cycled through Safari area and have been cycling towered Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe. The scenery was like pretty much the same as others.


In Zimbabwe, I occasionally saw a big farm, and it was all fenced off. They use trackers and heavy machinery. Seemed more civilized agriculture has been organized in here, Zimbabwe.


I had been greeted by people like "Hello Muzungu" on my way in other countries. However, here, people normally don't greet when they saw me; they just keep watching me. Then, as soon as I greet, they start talking to me endlessly; where are you from and going etc..
When I stopped by women for buying vegetables, I had been asked so many questions. Seemed Zimbabwe has also happy people.


This county had been governed by white racist minority. Those racial policy created a backlash oversea. Then, Patriotic native African group stood up including Mr Mugabe, the current president and took back the chair. Now this country has been mainly governed by native.
Still now, the feeling of native African is not really good for white people.


Zimbabwe has been struggling their uneasy political situation to be mended. They had a serious hyper inflation, and people couldn't buy anything by recent year. Now, their Zimbabwe dollar has been scrapped, and U.S dollar was replaced. Since then, the life is getting back to normal. I was sometime told by local people that Zimbabwe was now very safe country.


I was a bit nervous about security issue in Zimbabwe before coming but don't think I have to worry much since the face of people I saw in this country.


[2014/02/16 01:00 ] | Zimbabwe | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
Safari by bicycle, 自転車でサファリ
I reached to the Zambezi river where a border of Zimbabwe was situated.


The visa was supposed to be $30, but an official told me that they had changed the price to $50 yesterday. Okay, I told him, I pay you if you give me a receipt. Then he wrote the receipt of $30 and didn't ask me another $20 again.
What a small ass he was.


From this point, I decided to cycle. What made the decision was the first, there were quite many trucks running from and to Zambia on the road. The second was the big cats normally stay in shade during hot day time, I hope. To be hornets, I was totally nervous.


In Zimbabwe side of Zambezi river, there were many elephant shit on the road. The grass on the side of the road was grew enough to cover inside of bush. I couldn't really see what were inside.


I had been watching around while cycling, and every time when a bird flew up, I was astonished.
I saw many animals feed on grass, so some animals harmful for those grass eaters such as lions must be somewhere around.
For 40km to the entrance of mana pool N.P. where some ranger stayed and 20km from this point to the main ranger station, I had been very nervous and uncomfortable.


I saw an elephant. The accuracy of my camera was really bad for zooming.


In the end of the day, I finally arrived to a small village called Makuti. I was really off stress when I saw a person walking.
This village was still in safari area so I asked a police station for camping in their property. I was safely slept inside of fences in this night.


[2014/02/14 03:45 ] | Zimbabwe | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
To the West or South, 西か南か
Lusaka was very civilized city. Big shopping malls were crowded by local people. The gap of people's life between country side and here was huge.


Super market was just like one in western countries. The price of goods were also almost the same. Since I came from Malawi, the cheapest country to live in Eastern Africa, I was very shocked how things got so expensive.


I've been thinking how I would move after Lusaka. If I go to the west towered Livingstone, the distance to Cape Town is closer. However, I started interested in going to Zimbabwe because some cyclists I met on my way told me they had this country the most interested.
Zimbabwe is one of the trouble spot in east Africa, the only country where the history of civilization had been created and Mr. Mugabe has been running as president.
That sounds interesting, isn't it?


I decided to go south to Zimbabwe. But there was one concerning on the way.
From the border of Zimbabwe, the stretch about 80km, a safari area covers entire region including the main road. Some people warned for animals such as elephants and lions.
I've heard that the American cyclists I met in Lusaka had hitched for this section. I was getting nervous.
This turned into another headache even though I could make a desolation of my way.

[2014/02/10 18:32 ] | Zambia | Comments:(2) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
I think of Africa, アフリカについて思う事
Kids are always sweet. Their cloth are normally really torn out and they don't wear shoes, but their smile is always really blight.


Not only kids, people always gave me warm greeting, especially when men on old chinese bike with a lot of things on the back smiled to me as they passed by, I always felt really warm.
These days, one thing keeps staying in my mind, it doesn't go away.


Many people dominated the image of Africa as poor, unhappy, unfair etc.. all kind of negative perspectives.
However, since I have been cycling Africa for quite a while and communicated with many different families and people, I started feeling that the image of Africa I had might have been wrong.

Do they actually have decent happiness or peace as African?
What people do to Africa is just self satisfaction, isn't it??

In our measurement, of cause African's life is hard and sentimental. But actually this is Africa, what we as people from developed countries thought to be hard or sentimental is nothing special, really normal life for African.


Now, there are many organization and individual have been helping African countries.
What I've seen for African was that help or supports by others became very common in Africa. It seemed people were expecting somebody's help. They don't try to do things by themselves.
For instance, now many schools and hospitals have been established, but the skill and motivation of teachers and nurse are very poor. They don't try to improve education or medical level of their counties because U.S. aid, JAICA, World Vision, whatever will support.


Support is easy if you just send some money or things. Of cause as African, if someone gave them things for free, it's the best. However, just giving things will make people spoiled.
If someone really want to support, they should help to educate how they make money or things. Do things by themselves.


It's hard to explain in English but it was what I was thinking.
Cycling Africa gives me many ideas and things. I think it was right choice that I chose to come Africa.

[2014/02/10 06:49 ] | Zambia | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
Cycling Zambia, ザンビア走ってます

5 days from Lilongwe, keep pedaling to the West. This is middle of rain season. The vegetation is so green.


African Sky. Wow always

I have been getting many flat since Zambia. I am not sure but guess its because of many broken glass on the road.


As soon as I crossed the border of Zambia, the price of things became triple up to 5 times as much as in Malawi.
Just a shitty guest house costs $10. Now, I am back to camping strategy as I had been doing before.


I'm camping at a community or villages. It's tiring but fun. I'm always surrounded by kids.


Zambian is also gentle as other black African countries. The differences as far as I've found are more cars and distance between villages are wider.
In Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi, I could find a place to eat easily at noon. However, Zambia is difficult.


I don't have much complain but the only thing I hate here is too many drunk people.
Almost all adult who tried to talk to me were drunk.
The one who drunk a bit is okay but I hate some for too drunk.


Now, I'm trying to get to the capital city of Zambia, Lusaka. From there, I have to decide to go south, Harare or go west, Livingstone.

[2014/02/06 06:45 ] | Zambia | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
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