Cave paintings are a perfect metaphor for Zimbabwe, both are written in layers over thousands of years. With a little Photoshop help, the layers become even more striking.
Hiking up, way up, something like 1200 feet, to Domboshava with our able guide Hob, (Hurley Boazman) we saw these drawings dating back 4,000 to 13,000 years. Drawn and re-drawn. Seems like man has been rewriting history from the beginning of time.
The vistas are spectacular. The history beyond comprehension. Unlike mountains in (say) Tucson, the rock surface is less craggy and where we are used to looking at formations of lots of boulders, this seemed like it was one big rock, which made for easier, but still challenging hiking. Altitude, altitude, altitude. No matter how much time smooth the rocks, it still leaves you breathless.
Who transcribed these messages and why? Are they artwork? Storytelling? The answers, like the meanings behind the drawings are mysteries know only to the steady winds. But it seems that we have gone from recording history in images, to using words, to images again. 21st century literacy means that we need to be able to read images. Around and around we go.
Thanks to all the teachers who hosted us for dinner. Niky and family (including the effervescent Scarlett) and special thanks to GoGo (please forgive phonetic spelling), who served genuine Zimbabwe cuisine at the home of Melissa Chifokoyo.
Dinner by candlelight, which turns out to be a lot less romantic than it sounds when power outages last up to 14 hours a day.
Many many thanks to Hob and Kari Boazman for hosting us with laughs, raisin bran, and Izzie, a therapy dog for weary travelers.