Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Zimbabwe: Harare

Kenyan mountains visible above the clouds.
On Wednesday, September 19th, I flew overnight from Monrovia, Liberia, through Accra Ghana into the Nairobi, Kenya airport, where I changed planes for a flight south to Zimbabwe. As we were passing through southern Kenya, the high mountains were visible from the plane above the clouds (photo above).

One of the countless, vivid jacaranda trees that adorn Harare.
I'm not sure what I expected in Zimbabwe, but I never imagined how beautiful, pleasant and well laid-out the capital city of Harare would be. My experience of landing at the airport was the smoothest and most pleasant of any international arrival I can remember. And the entire city is studded with jacaranda trees that were in full, vivid bloom, like the one above.

I was also impressed by the beautiful architecture of some of the newer buildings in the city center. They really had a touch of beauty that went far beyond mere functionality, like the one above and the others below.

Zimbabwe also has a significant Catholic population, with a number of prominent Catholic buildings and institutions, like the cathedral, seen through the car window below.

The Catholic Cathedral in Harare.
My host for this Zimbabwe visit was Fr. Liam McCarthy, OFM, an Irish Franciscan who has served as a missionary in Zimbabwe for the past 10 years. I met him last February at the consecration of our mutual friend, Bishop Michael Lenihan, OFM, in La Ceiba, Honduras. Fr. Liam is a talented and busy man, and it was a blessing and a pleasure to accompany and support him in some of the activities and responsibilities he carries out in Zimbabwe, as I'll share in the next few posts.

Fr. Liam McCarthy, OFM, and I against the backdrop of Harare. 

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