Travels around Southern Africa


The Seventh Day Adventist Church are building a load of churches all over the country using prefab structures that can be built in a day. (We were asked to find water at five of them.) Below, is a “one day” built school. Actually, each structure can be built in a day – I’m not sure how many people it takes.

Prefab SDA school

I went off to lunch with an old friend the day we surveyed here!!! And didn’t get back in time…I arrived late to find everyone taking shelter from the heat inside one of the classrooms. They are surprisingly cool for a building without a ceiling. (Said to stop me feeling so bad!) Obviously insulation can be added to the walls and the roof, but it seems the white reflects enough heat. Chances are they wont get water in a borehole here, and on our recommendations probably wont drill at all.

Prefab SDA school

It was totally my fault we were late getting away from Gwanda but luckily on the way home, we had these light conditions to work with!

Prefab SDA schoolTaken about 20km before Balla Balla of the bottom end of the Matopos

Prefab SDA school

This road winds in amongst the hills – huge granite outcrops on both sides of the road, the mealie lands barren and maize stooks empty after one of the worst season in ages.

Prefab SDA school

I love this view (above) and want to share it with anyone who has ever driven this road…

Leave a Reply


nomusa2 - 05. May, 2015 - Reply

Stunning pictures x

Sent from my iPhone


frankiekay - 05. May, 2015 - Reply

Thanks for that and the visit

Suki - 05. May, 2015 - Reply

Must admit they look quite good. They go up fast! Why do they not place these things where they know water will be? No water there so what do they do? Pick up and move elsewhere or transport water? The last picture – the road is my favourite. Would want to see what is over the next hill 🙂

frankiekay - 05. May, 2015 - Reply

In most cases, the council tell an organisation where to build and often that is the case in the communal areas too. Sometimes all the churches are in a long line – often on the top of a ridge!! Often in a place where no one could settle (now that should tell you something!) Imagine Sunday morning – a sort of take your pick of churches. I LOVE that pic, I love that road – its THAT much closer to home!

El Rolyat - 06. May, 2015 - Reply

What fun being ‘designated driver’ to all those beautiful places!
Makes me quite homesick (although I’m not that far from where you are, it’s still not “home”).
Such a shame about no water. How do you do the surveys? Just interested. A friend I once had used to do it with copper (I think) wires he held in his hands. They would twist towards each other if he walked over underground water. I tried the sticks out once and they definitely moved when I was over the buried irrigation pipes in the garden.

frankiekay - 07. May, 2015 - Reply

We definitely don’t use copper rods! In hubbies third year at university, (engineering) he did a full year course on geophysics and learned how to operate the equipment he uses. First he surveys with a machine that uses radio waves that bounce off underground features (similar to how they look at the baby in its mummy’s tummy!!) then he uses one that pushes an electrical current (high voltage around 10K volts) and again, tries to make an image of what is underground. Then several places are marked for further investigation. The whole thing takes an hour or two.
Its all in the interpretation of the results…and this is where the experience counts – asking about other boreholes in the district – no magic involved there! People who use copper rods or forked sticks are called dousers and, like geophysical surveyors, there are good and bad ones. I’m no fan of dousers! The idea of spending $5000.00 on the feelings of a man wielding a stick gives me the willies, but then again, some of the so called geophysicists are useless too! Its hard to find underground water in Matabeleland – its dry here and to get underground water – you need rain!
I only got to be designated driver once our kids left home…it is nice – just can get hot (ps when that happens, I switch on the car and run the airconn!!! – oops!) I pretend I am there to look after the car and do the cooking and cleaning, but I’m not really that good at any of it! Mostly I run interference with the clients – they often want to talk to him – ask questions!! – I wonder when they think he can get on with his work when they are busy yakking!

Suki - 07. May, 2015 - Reply

Thanks for that explanation.

El Rolyat - 07. May, 2015 - Reply

Although I swear those sticks moved for me ( 🙂 ), I have to agree with you – I wouldn’t spend Any money for mumbo-jumbo witchcraft stuff! (I hesitated to ask, not wanting to offend anyone 😉 ) Hubby’s method sounds more up my street. And pretty interesting too. Do you ever see other cool stuff down there underground (Huge diamonds? Artifacts?)?
I can imagine looking for water – any water – in Matabeleland must be quite a challenge. And I don’t blame you turning on the aircon – I would too!
Cooking and cleaning. I think I would also rather go for fielding inquisitive clients.

frankiekay - 08. May, 2015 - Reply

My husband has this “left over” Pommie accent. He speaks slowly and carefully as if considering his words. So you can imagine when he says this…: “All apparatus used for dousing are inherently unstable…” he gets the message across better than I do with “Now THAT is a whole load of mumbo jumbo!”
Since we don’t dig underground, we don’t find diamonds, although I admit to spending time looking around furtively when working in certain places! Hope springs eternal!