Jump to content

Nominations for Tractor of the Month
Garden Tractors and Parts on eBay



Photo
- - - - -

As Paul Harvey Would Say....the Rest Of The Story


  • Please log in to reply
121 replies to this topic

#91 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

HowardsMF155

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 4243
  • 2,699 Thanks
  • 2,916 posts
  • Location: Central NC

Posted August 11, 2013 - 06:30 PM

Team-Green was wondering about finding yourself in places you would rather not be, I figured I'd post it here.  

 

     While our initial posting to Zambia from 1973 to 1976 worked out well, by the time we returned in 1977 tensions were beginning to build due to the "white government rule" of Zimbabwe, our neighbor to the south.  Some research at this link:

http://en.wikipedia....desian_Bush_War  just now helped me recall some of the more pertinent details.  The border between Zambia and Zimbabwe was officially closed, but Zimbabwe "freedom fighters" were based in Zambia, and I would certainly question the effectiveness of the Zambian army at that time and it's ability to keep an armed force of foreign nationals under control.  As may be, the Rhodesian forces most certainly carried out a raid against the "freedom fighter" camps near Lusaka sometime in 1978, because the capitol ended up locked down for a few days afterward and I was in school there at the time.

 

     Further, I know that several bridges were demolished as the Rhodesian forces retreated to slow any pursuit.  According  to the information posted in the link above, this was probably in retaliation for the downing of Rhodesian aircraft by the ZIPRA forces.  At least one tale I heard had the soldiers politely asking travelers which side of the bridge they wanted to be on since it was going to be blown up.  Effects rippled though the country for years after that.  Suddenly, you could be thrown in jail for taking a picture with a bridge in the background.  A number of buildings which had previously been very photogenic became off-limits to tourists, which sadly included some very nice copper sculptures at the Lusaka airport.  Bridges became checkpoints manned with armed soldiers who wanted ID, passports, and sometimes wanted to look through your luggage or the load Dad was hauling in the truck.  Travel from our house in Serenje to Lusaka previously had taken 5-6 hours now was taking 7 - 8 hours due to the delays.  


  • olcowhand said thank you

#92 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

HowardsMF155

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 4243
  • 2,699 Thanks
  • 2,916 posts
  • Location: Central NC

Posted August 11, 2013 - 07:09 PM

   Another "interesting" experience occurred sometime around late 1979, perhaps early in 1980 depending on how accurate my memory is.  Tensions eased between Zimbabwe and Zambia due to a change in the official government structure of Zimbabwe, and the border between the two countries was opened for the first time in a number of years.  My parents thought this was a good opportunity to take a road trip to South Africa possibly for medical reasons? as well as a time to purchase supplies in South Africa which could not be obtained in Zambia. (In 1980, we would have been overseas for two years, with another two to go before returning to the USA.  Who knows what we needed that urgently.  I do remember my mother relating once that she purchased clothes for me based on my brother, 5 years older than me, who ended up at 5'9", while I ended up at 6'2" ).  Anyway, due to banditry and continued insurgents in the outlying areas, travel through the country took place in convoys (also referenced in the above link) with leading and trailing armed vehicles.  Vehicles joining the convoy had to be capable of sustained 100 kph speeds, stragglers were left behind.

     We did have an opportunity to do some sightseeing at an old archaeological site, Great Zimbabwe, or as it was called at the time, the Zimbabwe ruins.  Here is a link to a Wikipedia page which actually contains more information than we had available to us at the time:  http://en.wikipedia..../Great_Zimbabwe

 

  Due to our travel schedule, we also ended up being in Zimbabwe in April of 1980, on the day that power finally transferred completely from the Ian Smits government to national rule and the name of the country changed from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe.  As I recall, we found out the evening before when we stopped at a hotel for the night.  Mom and Dad decided it might be best to stay put that day to see whether things would fall apart or not.  For us kids, it was a final little bit of vacation with a pool, a radio station, and a fancy meal in the hotel dining room.


  • olcowhand and twostep have said thanks

#93 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

HowardsMF155

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 4243
  • 2,699 Thanks
  • 2,916 posts
  • Location: Central NC

Posted August 11, 2013 - 07:19 PM

While Zimbabwean rule removed the fear of reprisals from the Rhodesian Army, and eventually the "freedom fighters" moved away, the roadblocks never went away entirely.  Soon, the rational for the roadblocks became to stop poaching.  The operations looked pretty similar for a while, people in military uniform with rifles at a barricade with a "Stop" sign on it, why are you travelling, where from, where to, passport, license, show us your luggage, inside your vehicle, etc.  While established checkpoints were simply nuisances, a new checkpoint was a real cause for concern.   Uniforms became scarcer, and the fear grew that perhaps this new checkpoint might actually be bandits copying police and army tactics.  


  • olcowhand and twostep have said thanks

#94 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

HowardsMF155

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 4243
  • 2,699 Thanks
  • 2,916 posts
  • Location: Central NC

Posted August 11, 2013 - 08:32 PM

Google comes through!  Archived copy of the Spokane Daily Chronicle gives an account of the Lusaka raid I remembered.   http://news.google.c...pg=7000,3868163



#95 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

HowardsMF155

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 4243
  • 2,699 Thanks
  • 2,916 posts
  • Location: Central NC

Posted August 14, 2013 - 10:08 PM

Had a really mixed day today.  After Dad died in 2010, I was the executor of his will, and was also responsible for selling the house he and Mom bought back in 1992.  I've been taking care of that house off and on for 21 years.  So many memories around that house.  Some days when I was trying to clean out the house or do the renovation work, I'd just start missing him so bad.  Today, I signed all the paperwork to sell the house.  One last trip down there to finish gathering my Gravely stuff that I was using on the grounds, and that will be all.


  • olcowhand, MH81 and KennyP have said thanks

#96 culverwell OFFLINE  

culverwell
  • New Member
  • Member No: 44607
  • 1 Thanks
  • 1 posts
  • Location: RSA

Posted August 16, 2013 - 07:55 AM

Enjoyed your Kalwa history. I was there two weeks ago.Sorry about your Dad. Could I ask you contact me  grassmere(at symbol)lantic.net

Thanks. Roy


Edited by olcowhand, August 17, 2013 - 11:58 AM.
prevent spammers getting hold of email

  • HowardsMF155 said thank you

#97 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

HowardsMF155

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 4243
  • 2,699 Thanks
  • 2,916 posts
  • Location: Central NC

Posted August 17, 2013 - 11:25 AM

Hi Roy, glad you have enjoyed my memories.  I'd really enjoy hearing about your trip and would love to see any pictures you have taken of the old home.  I'll send you a PM, but  please feel free to post here also.



#98 olcowhand ONLINE  

olcowhand

    Red Tractor Nut & Diesel Addict

  • Staff Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Sponsor
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 20
  • 35,653 Thanks
  • 29,840 posts
  • Location: South Central Kentucky

Posted August 17, 2013 - 12:00 PM

Had a really mixed day today.  After Dad died in 2010, I was the executor of his will, and was also responsible for selling the house he and Mom bought back in 1992.  I've been taking care of that house off and on for 21 years.  So many memories around that house.  Some days when I was trying to clean out the house or do the renovation work, I'd just start missing him so bad.  Today, I signed all the paperwork to sell the house.  One last trip down there to finish gathering my Gravely stuff that I was using on the grounds, and that will be all.

 

Sorry to hear this story Howard.  I still have my Dad & I know it'll be the hardest thing ever in my life when he passes on.


  • HowardsMF155 said thank you

#99 KennyP ONLINE  

KennyP

    FORDoholic

  • Super Moderator
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 2253
  • 28,502 Thanks
  • 39,730 posts
  • Location: Collinsville, Oklahoma

Posted August 17, 2013 - 12:59 PM

I lost my Dad in 1970! That was a tough time as I had just gotten back from 'Nam a few months before!


  • HowardsMF155 said thank you

#100 OkieGt OFFLINE  

OkieGt
  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Member No: 36782
  • 1,427 Thanks
  • 1,447 posts
  • Location: Oologah, Oklahoma

Posted August 18, 2013 - 08:18 AM

The biggest mistake Americans make is not realizing that in most foreign countries it is expected and almost required to bribe officials, they call it a "gratuiiy"


  • HowardsMF155 said thank you

#101 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

HowardsMF155

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 4243
  • 2,699 Thanks
  • 2,916 posts
  • Location: Central NC

Posted August 18, 2013 - 08:32 AM

The biggest mistake Americans make is not realizing that in most foreign countries it is expected and almost required to bribe officials, they call it a "gratuiiy"

I can't speak for Dad's thoughts on the matter.  I will say that for myself, between youthful naivete and the fact that I represented the Southern Baptist Mission in Zambia, paying a bribe almost never crossed my mind.  I did tumble to the fact that the Driving Inspector wanted a bribe, and his price was a pair of suspenders.  In hindsight, the "officious little toad" who delayed my journey by a day in Vic Falls probably also wanted a bribe, but instead he got a workout he didn't want so he let me go.


  • OkieGt said thank you

#102 africagirl2 OFFLINE  

africagirl2
  • New Member
  • Member No: 44922
  • 3 Thanks
  • 1 posts
  • Location: DE

Posted August 18, 2013 - 10:43 AM

Hi all,

My brother, Howard, invited me to come read and share on this thread.  I love reading his stories he has shared here, because I remember many of them--just differently, of course--but he focuses on a lot of detail I didn't know (like what it took to modernize our house), and remembers things much clearer that I do, since he was 10 years older than I. Reading some of his explanations of things helps to clarify for me what is simply foggy memories and the childish confusion that hangs around some of my earliest recollections.  Plus, I'm so excited for the potential that his recollections have to bring our childhood and my parents--both deceased--alive to my children (I'm waiting for the first to be born in October--I know, not the typical member of a tractor discussion group!).  

 

Howard, Mom and I were in Lusaka when that bridge you mentioned was blown up.  We had originally planned to be in just a few days, so we'd only brought a few clothes.  I remember being told (I must have been about 4 or 5), that a bridge was blown up on the single road that ran north to get from Lusaka to our farm, and we couldn't go home.  I didn't mind--that just meant I had more time to play with my Lusaka friends!   Daddy, meanwhile, was at Kalwa.

 

Of course, back then in socialist Zambia, it took AGES to get anything fixed, so we couldn't possibly stay in Lusaka till the bridge was repaired--that would have been at least 6 months, if not a year.  I remember, someone showed us a back way that you could take in the Mkushi area that avoided the "highway" and thus the bombed out bridge but it was along a dirt road and  took an extra two hours.  I remember we had to use that back route for several months until they got the bridge fixed.  So we took the back route and got home eventually, but the Zimbabwean war interfered with our schedule by several weeks. 

 

Speaking of the Zimbabwe war, I happened to be perusing a book about the CIA/KGB's involvement in wars in Africa.  Apparently, the two groups were quite involved in supporting the various factions during the the Zimbabwean war for independence and each had quite a heavy presence in Zambia.  I don't remember the particulars about it, but it made for fascinating reading for one who'd experienced that war...and the good old curfews in Lusaka that prevented us from going to people's houses to eat supper, and driving by Joshua Nkomo's completely flattened house(as referenced in your previous posting about the Spokane Daily Chronicle), staring at it like it was a tourist attraction.  

 

Thanks for sharing and for inviting me to come post too!


  • olcowhand, KennyP and HowardsMF155 have said thanks

#103 DougT ONLINE  

DougT

    Dog Approved

  • Super Moderator
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 584
  • 5,733 Thanks
  • 4,289 posts
  • Location: north central Ohio

Posted August 18, 2013 - 11:12 AM

Welcome to the forum, AfricanGirl2. We won't hold the fact your Howard's sister against you. Should be twice as intersting hearing you two compare notes.


  • africagirl2 said thank you

#104 shorty ONLINE  

shorty

    Member

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Member No: 6172
  • 3,568 Thanks
  • 3,951 posts
  • Location: Lancaster County Pa

Posted August 18, 2013 - 11:33 AM

Welcome Africagirl2!! We have enjoyed your brother's stories and memories. It really shows what the missions everyday life can be like.


  • africagirl2 said thank you

#105 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

HowardsMF155

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 4243
  • 2,699 Thanks
  • 2,916 posts
  • Location: Central NC

Posted August 18, 2013 - 01:12 PM

Hello AfricaGirl2, thanks for stopping by.  I should have asked you to start posting the first time I told you about this thread.

 

Speaking of things I remember more clearly than you, how about your birth??

 

     When we left the US for Zambia in 1972, Mom and Dad thought their family was complete.  The firstborn, a boy, then five years wait for me, a mere 13 month wait for my sister, and at the time we went overseas it had been 8 years since my birth.  So there we are, a family of five, out in the Zambian bush with a refrigerator run by kerosene (paraffin), in a country where the shelves seemed to be empty more often than not, electricity is provided only by a generator from 6am->noon then from 5-> 9:00 pm ,and Mom discovers she is pregnant!

 

     Perhaps the most difficult part of being pregnant where we were was a relative lack of medical care.  Fortunately, there was a hospital perhaps 2 hours north of us with a strong European presence, including a Doctor from Scotland, Dr Curry, and at least one nurse, (Mary Margaret?)  They became our "goto" resource for medical treatment of all kinds, including AfricaGirl2's birth.  She may know more than I about her birth, because all I really remember is spending a day or so at Chitambo (the hospital) and playing with someone's well trained dog (He did tricks for the awfullest smelly fish, dried kapenta) and the doctor's daughter, who later introduced me to J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy.

     Babies seem to require an awful lot of support equipment, and we didn't bring any.  There was a terrific amount of support from fellow missionaries, both Southern Baptist and other denominations that were in the capital city of Lusaka.  A crib, clothing, I think even cloth diapers were provided somehow.  What wasn't provided, Mom used her sewing machine to make.  Little AfricaGirl2 was tucked into our other sister's room until she outgrew her crib. 


  • olcowhand and KennyP have said thanks




Top