Monday, October 20, 2008

ilanga liyaqanda

I have a lot to do, but I feel like writing for a minute. Here's what's left of the trees in my backyard:


The weather right now is perfect, to me. Walking the colorful streets of Provo reminds me simultaneously of two wonderful places: Gweru and Manti. I can't specifically remember ever visiting Manti in the fall, which makes me think that I'm reminded of Manti by my remembrance of Gweru.

Gweru is the third or fourth largest city in Zimbabwe and is situated about half-way between Harare and Bulawayo. Crossing Zimbabwe from east to west, Gweru seems to be the last city before the authentic African savanna begins -- tall yellow grass dotted with Acacia trees. And if I were to pick one word to describe that city, it would be sleepy.

My stay in Gweru was the shortest of all the places I lived as a missionary. I stayed in Bulawayo from July to November, Harare until August, Lusaka until January, Harare again, then Gweru from May until the end of June -- just one transfer. As a result, the Gweru of my memory is in a permanent fall. And in that fall, I love retracing my steps and rides through Lundi Park, the Bata factory, Southdowns and Ivene. I miss talking to the members of the Church there, and I miss eating a half-loaf of bread with a sack of milk for lunch. I miss the relaxed life that they live there. I miss bags of biscuits. I wonder how Omega's doing. I wonder where George ended up -- I'll never forget the day that he literally gave me the shirt off his back. I wonder if I'll ever again get to taste one of those lemon-doughnuts from the bakery in town.

Mentally walking through Gweru (or Gwelo as it was once called) reminds me of Manti -- peaceful Manti. Small houses without sidewalks and old, tall trees. I love simple Manti. Life is so simple there.

I'm glad that I will forever be blessed with remembrances of Gweru when the fall comes around -- it's nice to remember a simpler time.

I've been flipping through the end of my mission journal and found this gem (from after I came home):
"I ... attended the Single's Ward. I didn't like parts of it, but it was mostly okay. The talks, all of them, were very well-prepared, but, let me copy down a thought I wrote in my study journal: 'Being intelligent can be a downfall because it draws the user of the brain to leave out the unintelligible feelings of the heart. Never forget your heart... Live by your heart.'"

Here's the street I live on -- just took this picture on my way home today:

7 comments:

Students for said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kimberly said...

thanks for that thought iffy! you remembering your missing made me really start thinking about mine. what a good time of life!

i hope everything is going well for you!

Mandy said...

Do you take your camera everywhere?

Matt said...

Actually, Mandy... yes, I almost always have my camera with me -- at least as best I can.

Megs said...

I really like the quote from your journal. It was ... timely for me. I don't always agree with the sentiment completely, but I think that we should never lose sight of "the heart" in decisions, no matter how smart we get. Thanks.

Tammy said...

I love the pictures :) I have almost that exact picture from last fall of the 300E - I love that big tree on the left that is covered with vines underneath all the leaves :)

Hey, I need to pick your brain. I know you'll have great insight. What should I be for halloween? Im going on a harbor cruise dance that night so it needs to be cute but fun :) Thanks!

Barbaloot said...

Iffy-I fully cracked up when I read your comment on my blog! To my knowledge you have never suffered from TDS-so you are not a dork:)