Zimbabwe 29 October: Harare

Peace in Zimbabwe

Our Peace Run through southern Africa continued with a day in Harare visiting schools. We were very happy to welcome some new Zimbabwean team members - Shailaja, Takudzwa, Joylene and Emilia.

Our first visit of the day was a kindergarten. Here Takudzwa holds the torch. Emilia is on the extreme left.

The kids were bright and full of smiles.

Each child had the opportunity to hold the torch and make a wish for peace.

The girls team.

PEACE!

The Zimbabweans take the lead as we head towards Nettleton Primary School. Here Joylene is on the left, Emilia centre and Takudzwa on with the torch.

What a warm welcome we received from the runners at Nettleton.

They joined us for the run into the school.

We did a few enthusiastic laps of the school field before joining the rest of the school at an assembly.

Shailaja explaining the run to the school kids.

Our guessing game - the kids were all keen to guess where Balarka was from. Funnily enough, he was born in Harare but now lives in South Africa.

Joylene gives each student a chance to hold the torch and make a wish for peace.

Such joy!

Emilia and the school kids.

The team.

This teacher's sleeve read "WE EDUCATE THE NATION". We have met so many wonderful and hardworking teachers on this run.

The teachers hold the torch.

Abhijatri from the Peace Runners thanks Deputy Headmaster Mr Sylvester and Nettleton Primary for their enthusiastic participation.

An acrobat troupe delights us all. We particularly liked their chair routine!

Unbridled enthusiasm.

Takudzwa with the torch.

Deputy Headmaster, Mr Sylvester, runs out of the school with the team.

Sometimes the Peace Run can be challenging in unusual ways. Here our car started overheating.

Dhiraja crashed out in the back of the pickup

Some ice creams helped to bring down our temperatures!

In good spirits in the van.

We were very fortunate to make it out to Kuimba Shiri Bird Park on the shores of Lake Chivero, about 35km west of Harare. The park was opened in 1992 by Gary and Elcine Stafford, pictured here sharing their goodwill for peace! Gary's love of birds of prey and falconry in particular was the main impetus behind their decision to found the park. Over the years the park has expanded to house birds, horses, and even lions!

The Kuimba Shiri Bird Park consists predominantly of birds of prey, while the Lake Chivero area is home to more than 400 species of birds.

Everyday they have a bird show and on this occasion Stacey was lucky enough to meet one of the barn owls.

Some of the birds live in permanent captivity while others are free to roam and choose to return each evening to be let into their cages, finding this beautiful sanctuary the perfect place to rest each night.

Some of the birds we met. We were all very thankful that there was wire netting between us and them.

We met some very friendly birds that just wanted lots of attention.

While others tried to lure us into their enclosures so that they could take a bite!

But luckily none of our team fell for their tricks and we all left with our fingers and toes intact!

You can really see why so many people come here, both to learn about the beautiful birds of Zimbabwe and to sit in the calm surroundings of nature and just relax.

After many hours here we bid a fond farewell to our new friends and all look forward to our next visit.