Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Arrested in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe, great potential, beautiful landscapes, some lovely friendly people, but OMIGOD some nasty pieces of work as well. I think there’s a certain nastiness/bitch detector that they use on all applicants to the police and CID. Those with grades of 8 or higher on the bitch scale are immediately selected. Other would be applicants are only occasionally taken in and then given jobs low on the ladder until their bitch grades improve. Okay I admit it, I am having a bit of a rant here, but having just been released from 20 hours of incarceration I feel entitled to whinge.

We got lost getting out of Pretoria, ended up going through Graskop to Polekwane, the scenic route. So as that route took longer, we stayed over at Louis Trichardt instead of Messina in a backpackers, where lo and behold, bumped into someone I knew there twenty years ago. Small world. He’s been married and divorced 4 times since we last met.

Messina, and we quickly found a police station to get copies of my passport certified. You have to go to a special lawyer to get this done in Tanzania, and they charge $20 for it. Free in South Africa. We took a wrong turn and ended up going to the jail instead, but the woman dishing up the inmates lunches was able to certify my documents. HATE TO HAVE BEEN IN THE Messina jail though, corrugated iron shed, no windows, barred gate for a door and extreme heat. It can’t be a pleasant experience. Siobhan was excited to see prisoners in a real jail, little did she know what lay ahead for us.

The border crossing at Beit Bridge was completely uneventful, we got through relatively quickly with no questions asked. Nobody was interested in our over-loaded car, just commenting that we were obviously relocating as it’s filled with our personal possessions. I didn’t notice that the customs lady accidentally kept the police clearance we got from the Zimbabwe CID.

We arrived at Masvingo and checked into a hotel, and explored the Great Zimbabwe Ruins in the morning. Leaving Masvingo for Harare, I got caught for speeding, doing 71km in an 80 area. The female officers were hiding behind an electricity pylon with their speed camera, 25m in the 80km zone, catching people just as they started to accelerate as they left the 60 zone. Unfair, definitely. Illegal, probably. They told me they were trying to make the roads safer as speeding kills. I said if they wanted to make the roads safer, they wouldn’t hide they’d stay in the open so that motorists slow down. By hiding, they are wanting motorists to speed so they can catch them. An argument ensued, I managed to get the other locals who’d also been caught and were waiting for their fines to be written out, on my side and shouting at the unfairness of the location of the speed camera. A sort of a riot ensued and I was threatened with arrest. Siobhan shouted from the car for me to calm down, and I backed down, paid the fine to a very angry policewoman who wanted my head, and went on my merry way.

Harare and we accidentally found the right road to the backpackers in our guide book. Unfortunately, even the latest guide books are outdated when it comes to Zimbabwe. None of the backpackers in the book exist anymore. We turned up at a dilapidated property, the tree-houses that had attracted us in the guide book falling from the trees. But, the people living there now directed us to another house around the block who sometimes took in backpackers. The guy actually owns Hippo Pools Bush Camp, but he took us in, let us use his room, and only charged us $10 for the night. There was no power, so they had a fire going, we nipped down to the supermarket and bought some meat to BBQ. I survived the lumpiest pillow ever, woke up with a chronic migraine from fighting the lumps all night, and then faced our next challenge. Finding an ATM that not only worked, but also dispensed cash and worked with visa cards. This challenge took us 2 hours. By this time, my fuel light was on and my mild panic was causing my migraine to develop into a jackhammer pounding away at my brain.

Having the speed camera system sussed, we made it to the Zambian border at Chirundu in good time, arriving there at 4.30pm. This is where our luck changed chronically. On the Zimbabwean side of the border (Zambia and Zimbabwe share the same building), the CID asked for our police clearance from Beit Bridge border post. We didn’t have it. This proved to be a huge problem. The CID guys were very aggressive and definitely looking for a bribe. They opened the car bonnet and checked the engine and chassis numbers, but the engine number didn’t match the engine number on the car registration card. This was because the school had replaced the engine with a reconditioned one several years ago, and unbeknownst to me, had never registered the change with the police or Tanzanian Road Authority. Therefore, according to the CID, I had stolen the car engine in Zimbabwe and put it in my car. The car with all our belongings and us were impounded subject to further investigation. They were mean, even threatened Siobhan when she asked a question, rude to us and refused to contact the SA Embassy. They relented, let us sleep in the car instead of the cells, when I told them I was going to put all this in my next book. A very jolly inspector arrived later the evening, completely different to the two CID boys, and told us he was going to pray for us. When they refused to escort Siobhan through the village next door to the toilet, he stepped in and sent another female inmate to accompany her. He wasn’t happy with us sleeping in the car as lions, hyena and elephant come there at night, so he walked us across past the long line of trucks to a motel where we were then allowed to spend the night. All of this started happening when I threatened them with the embassy and a bad write up in my book.

This morning, while we were sitting waiting for 5 hours in the hot car to be cleared of the theft charges, the jolly inspector arrived and asked me if I could give him a copy of one of my books, so I gave him a copy of Not Telling that I happened to have in my bag. Soon after that they came to tell us that I’d been cleared, my car wasn’t stolen and we were free to go. An extra days delay, an extra night in a motel to pay for, I was singularly unimpressed.

Anyway, final exit at Zimbabwe border post and entry into Zambia took a total of 45 minutes. I decided to be upfront, tell Zambian CID about the engine problem that the number was different, and all they said was to make sure I get it sorted when I get back to Tanzania. Now why couldn’t CID Zimbabwe have done that when it came up at 4.30pm yesterday?

Now in Lusaka at the Comfort Lodge on the Great East Road heading for Malawi. Internet access for the first time since Saturday morning. Hold thumbs, we have no problems leaving Zambia or at the Malawian border! Then of course, we still have to enter Tanzania!
Hold thumbs for us!\love

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Heading back to Kilimanjaro

All good things come to an end.  Our holiday in magical Cape Town is over.  In the morning at 6am, we start our long drive back to Kilimanjaro.  The car is packed, just recharging the camera batteries, putting our clothes for the trip into day packets and then we need to seriously sleep.  Correction, I need to sleep.  Siobhan will sleep along the way.  I've made sure that there is enough space for her chair to go back.  Our car resembles a packed Zimbabwean bus minus the chickens and goats tied onto the roof.  Behind the front seats there is a solid wall of clothing, linen, toys, kitchen utensils, and other crap we think we desperately need back home in Tanzania.  The challenge that lies ahead, is going to be getting across the borders of 4 different countries without paying duty or bribes to corrupt customs officials.
This is the first time we haven't done too many touristy things in my beloved mother city.  Sorted out Tony's flat, saw him settled (his first night there he returned home from a club to find two dead bodies, a shot up car and a horde of policemen in the road near his block of flats.)  That took up a good part of the holiday.  Then we also raided our storage facility and decided on what to keep in storage and what we wanted to take back with us.  Have to say, we are taking back enough clothes to clothe the whole of Moshi.  Siobhan always loves fashion and has been very frustrated having to wear the same clothes twice a week for the past year.  The big thing, is that we are taking back summer clothes which we had a sad lack of the past year.
Had my first sem-run-in with customs today.  Had ordered some of my latest book to give family and friends here, thinking it would be cheaper to ship to South Africa from the US than it is to Tanzania.  Boy was I mistaken.  Not only is shipping more expensive, but the customs here grab hold of the box of books, and won't release them until you pay duty, vat and a clearance fee.  I managed to b-s my way out of the duty when I saw they had opened the box up upside down.  I knew that the invoice was always on the top of the books, but seeing that they had opened up the box from the bottom, I told them the books were a gift from my publishers.  "See," I said holding the back of a book up next to my face.  "This is me, I am the author."  After scrutinising my face and the author picture on my book, they agreed that I was indeed the author, so didn't have to pay duty.  But I still had to pay vat on the value of the books.  I made up a ridiculously small sum which they accepted, and paid their $3 handling fee on top of that.  Total outlay $10 to collect my books, even though I had to fork out a lot for the shipping.  Never ever will I ship books to South Africa again. 
When I got back to my car, which was already packed to the brim ready for tomorrow's trip, it was surrounded by custom's officials, some with cute golden labradors.  "This is not a South African registered car," one very astutely pointed out.  "Is it from Zambia?" he asked pointing to the Tanzanian flag on the number plate.  Granted, he might have been fooled by the 'I love Zambia' sticker on the back of my car, but Zambia?  Obviously the education system had failed him and I knew then he was not one to be trifled with.
"Tanzania," I said pleasantly with one of my winning smiles.  "As you can see, I came to fetch some of my things to take back to Tanzania with me."
"Passport," he sneered holding out his hand.  Now seriously, how many South Africans drive around South Africa with their passport.  In fact, many South Africans don't even have passports.
"I don't have it with me, it's with my things at my brother's house in Rondebosch."  I quickly replaced my winning smile with a perplexed look.
"Oh, are you South African?" he asked, lightening up a little.  My South African accent is so thick, you can cut it with a knife, this guy was very slow.  I nodded, trying my best to look demure and intimidated at the same time.  "Okay, you can go then.  But you better keep your passport with you, as other cops might stop you and ask what with you driving a foreign car and all.  So, what is it like in Tanzania?  Is it peaceful?  Are you working there?"  First he was so aggressive and now he wanted to make chatty conversation.  I bared my teeth in what I hoped was a pleasant grin.  The labrador he had on a leash lay down and rested its head on its paws.  It obviously found my car boring, probably because I wasn't a drug smuggler.
Goodbyes to friends, but we'll be back in December when the weather is better.  The World Cup was awesome, I was one of the millions proud to be a South African.  Hopefully, our rugby boys will improve the weekend.  Not sure when I'll have internet access again to update you about our travels.  But, I'm recording all the information and am really excited about The Great Mountain to Mountain Safari, the book I'm going to write about this mammoth trip.  Have done quite a bit of work on it already.
Thanks to my brothers for looking out for me here, getting my car sorted and serviced and letting us stay with them in Cape Town.  Thanks also to my Mom and Jem for helping to sort out Tony.  Ten days minimum of travel lie ahead.  Hopefully, not too many adventures, but they are always good to write about in a book!Sayonara!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Introducing Cate Masters, dark fantasy author supreme

If you're into fantasy and looking for a gripping read, you might want to try Cate Masters. She's visiting my blog as part of her Virtual Book Tour and will be talking about how she got into writing and will give us a juicy excerpt from her latest book. Welcome Cate!

Cate Masters on the E-volution

Years ago, I wrote my first novel and submitted it to a few agents. A few even nibbled and asked for more, but the process always fell apart somewhere along the line. I kept writing, though. I signed up for local workshops and online classes. I joined a critique group, and have learned to depend on them for straightforward pointers. I bought about fifty how-to books, everything from workbooks to author essays. I focused on short stories to teach myself to write more concisely, condense the story and convey it in a few thousand, sometimes a few hundred, words. That paid off in publication in literary magazines, and eventually, web zines.

The e-volution had begun. One of my critique partners introduced me to e-presses, and it changed my life. I thought it was great to be able to submit electronically to agents, but submitting an entire novel directly to a publisher? Great! The savings in postage alone made my husband happy. No more envelopes addressed to me, from me, prompting my kids to ask why I was sending mail to myself. Yes, rejection by epublishers is much more private. :)

Luck had turned in my favor, though. For the many long years of rejection by the “big publishers,” I found widespread success with epublishers. My stories were getting out to readers. Hooray! Reviewers used generous descriptions like “compelling,” “uniquely intriguing,” and “marvelous imagery.” One even started the review with a “Wow!” To which I responded in turn, Wow! There’s nothing like a good review to make your day. Week, even.

The state of the publishing industry, too, seemed to be turning in my favor. Oh, and a lot of other e-pubbed authors too. Ebook sales skyrocketed while print took a landslide in the down economy. Some said the release of the iPad would revolutionize publishing. Now enhanced ebooks are on the horizon, promising to be the next best thing.

Still, I wondered: are ebooks what readers really prefer? I would love to hear from you. Do you regularly purchase ebooks? Or only sometimes, for certain authors you love? How can epublished authors better grab your attention? Do reviews sway you? Will contests entice you?

My full-length historical adventure romance, Angels Sinners and Madmen, will release in ebook format on July 27 from Freya’s Bower:
Are you more likely to read shorter stories than a full-length novel in ebook format?

Can I entice you with an excerpt perhaps? :)
Her intense scrutiny made him uneasy.
“Did someone hurt you? So much you distrust every other who shares her gender?”
Her face, illuminated by the setting sun, appeared so innocent, so youthful. She could not possibly know of the terrible danger inherent in offering oneself to another. The intricacies of a relationship.
“Yes.” The lone word revealed more than he had ever shared with anyone else. He stood rigid, unwilling to display himself further through any action or language.
“Then I am truly sorry, Sam. To close yourself off in such a way you can never know happiness again. It makes me sad for you.”
His laugh was hollow. “You needn’t pity me.”
Her face hardened, her beautiful lips retreating to a thin, disapproving line. “No. You’re right. To choose such a life willingly is your own doing. You deserve no pity.”
This was the kind of woman he was used to. Whose tender caresses turned to merciless clawing, so deep his very heart was at peril. “Such harsh words from one who would have me believe—”
“I will not be so pathetic as to cling to false hope. To wait for you to sort out your feelings could take years.” She bowed her head. “I hold you to nothing, Sam. Forget yesterday, if you must.” She lifted her head to hold his gaze for a moment, perhaps waiting for him to open himself to her. In resignation, she turned and walked out.
Stunned, Sam stood there, looking at the closed door.
She knew him. She knew him completely, her sweet touch had divined his true self, had breathed into his mouth and captured the essence of his soul. Her openness, her honesty, entranced him more than her beauty.
Yet he still could not move, could not will himself to go after her, confess his feelings.
The sensation of being in Livvie’s arms could not be more opposite to his time with Helen. When Livvie looked at him, she exposed herself completely. Nothing else existed in the world. Her giving nature resulted from her feelings, and what she did not feel, she would not give. He knew it to be true.
If Livvie left Key West, he would likely never meet another near her qualities. Her inquisitive nature inspired him to share his thoughts, his world. He trusted her reaction to be true, not a response designed to please him. Her skills of comprehension and analysis exceeded those of many educated men. Were it not for the constraints of society, Livvie could have risen to great power, if she’d aspired to.
He had never encountered another girl like her. That was perhaps what frightened him most. Yet he still felt rooted where he stood, even as he saw, in his mind’s eye, her figure grow smaller and disappear altogether. One thought repeated in his head: I will never forget.

Bio: Cate Masters writes fantasy/dark fantasy, historical, contemporary and speculative fiction, described by reviewers as “so compelling, I did not want to put it down,” “such romantic tales that really touch your soul,” “filled with action scenes which made it a riveting story,” and “the author weaves a great tale with a creative way of using words that makes the story refreshing to read.” The proud mom of three adult children, she currently lives in central Pennsylvania with her husband, Lily the dog, their dictator-like cat, Chairman Maiow, and dozens of characters inhabiting her imagination. Visit Cate online at, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
Cate loves to hear from readers. Email her at:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Introducing Mike Dolan

As a blogger whose offered to host other new up and coming budding authors on their Virtual Book Tours, I get to meet many interesting people. It's my pleasure to introduce to you, Mike Dolan, who seems to have been bitten by the same gypsy/explorer bug as me. Travel and adventure are part of our genetic make-up. However, money is what holds me back, even though my kids seem to think that I pass out cash along with my other body secretions. But, Mike says you can be wealthy spiritually and emotionally and I am very wealthy in that. So I guess, I shouldn't harp on my lack of cash reserves and focus on the positive. I have great kids, a supportive family and I love writing and living in Tanzania, so I guess I am very blessed. I do have the opportunity to travel and see places others only dream about. But, enough about me, here's Mike Dolan to tell us more about his new book.
Mike was born in the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado 43 years ago. He has lived all around this beautiful world of ours, from Europe to Alaska, to his current home in the Middle East. His education is that of the experiences life gives and school is far from being out for him. He is a lover of life, a life adventurist. He loves to travel, meet new people, and experience new cultures. He has been given a great opportunity to see life in a different light and wishes to share this with you.

Here is Mike in his own words:

This is a challenge for me to write. I’m not accustomed to writing about myself. I am a newly published author who believes in the best this life has. I’m a positive energy that is always willing to help those that seek out my help. I am an enabler, a catalyst that’s willing to set the bonfire of your soul aflame. I am nobody.. and yet I am everyone. I have the same feeling, the same hopes, the same desires, and the same dreams you do. Perhaps the one difference is my burning desire to help others come alive to find the dreams once held in my heart. My intent is to help as many people as I possibly can, to bring joy to as many lives as I can, and to empower as many people as I can to find the life of dreams again… My life has been comprised of experience, experiences that have lead me to this point in my life. I wish to share what it is that I have learned along the way so tthat we all will enjoy the time we have.

Today is a new day as is everyday of your life if you so choose. What do I mean by this? It’s simple really… New experiences in our lives always seem to be more exciting, more moving, more beautiful, more of everything. Each day has that energy within it, more specifically your experience of this life as that energy in it. You get to choose how you experience the days of your life. You don’t always get to choose what is within the experience, but you do get to control the way you experience it. Take everyday as a new day, as a new challenge, as a fresh start… Many may balk at this idea due to the nature of how they perceive their own lives, but I would challenge them to try it. If you work in an office where your life is dull, where all you do is sit in a cubicle and push paper. I challenge you to experience it for the first time as if it was your first day. Go in with a smile, say Hi to someone that doesn’t expect it… Experience your day as a new day…

Review of A Pecunious Life

The book A Pecunious Life written by Author Mike Dolan has great advice for improving ones life, not only does the author write details of how to become more wealthy, but he incorporates his own experiences which are woven into lessons of life quality. Learning from the past, learning from mistakes, learning from beliefs or mis-beliefs, life-altering events, and exercises where the author asks you to sit in a quiet place and reflect on the lessons given.
The book is not really about becoming wealthy in the money sense, but wealthy in the spiritual and happiness sense. Could we be happy with less? Happiness is a state of mind-
I found this educational and easy to read and recommend it to adults in need of self-hep, spiritual guides, and for people who need a better life than they have right now.
Reviewed by Ami Blackwelder
A Pecunious Life can be purchased on Mike's website or at Amazon:
Genre: Self-Help

Publisher: Infinity Publishing

A parting message from Mike Dolan
As we traverse this life, we are faced with questions that will define who and what we become in our life. One of the most profound questions an individual should answer early in his or her life is a query that some people never deal with until far too late in their lives. This one question is often overlooked because we are rarely asked this question as we begin our journey in life. I’ve asked people this question several times in the past, and all they could do is look at me with a confused look of being lost.

For some people happiness is elusive; it’s something only found in the movies. For some happiness is tied to something external in their life. This could be their job, their family, or even a new car. To examine happiness for ourselves is to examine ourselves. True happiness is not attached to any material device, it is not tied to one’s occupation, and it’s not tied to another individual or group of individuals. True happiness comes from within the individual.
“In finding yourself you will find what makes you happy in life.” MLD

I wish you well on this journey of life and hope you find you path to a pecunious life...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Introducing Diane Griffin

As one who has smuggled things across borders, it is a bit strange promoting a book on Security clearance, but for those who've tried to find information on government websites you'll find this book very handy.  All you ever wanted to know about security clearance is in this one book, no more going from website to website to try and find the info you need.  Okay, it was rabbits.  I smuggled twenty live rabbits across a border once.  How and why I did it is a whole other story.  So now, please welcome, the dynamic Diane Griffin!
Diane Griffin, President and owner of Security First & Associates, says her motivation for writing Everything You Wanted to Know About the Security Clearance Process, But Are Afraid To Ask: Professional Guidance for Obtaining and Maintaining a Security Clearance came from the more than two decades of people she has assisted, both in her role as a private security contractor, and as the head of personnel or security within major governmental contractors, in finding their way through the complicated security clearance chain.

Synopsis: If you have plenty of time to click around through myriad government websites and the patience to cut through red tape and make sense of confusing bureaucratic talk, you may be able to find some of the answers to your questions about the security clearance process,” Griffin says. “Chances are, however, that you will still be left with some of your questions unanswered, because there are some questions that the government just doesn’t address. So, unless you know someone who is well acquainted with the process from a first-hand perspective, good luck.

“What I sought to do was compile all of these answers into one easy-to-read compendium of advice and guidance, giving my readers signposts along the way to assist them in navigating through the clearance process. I believe I’ve come up with a volume that will greatly help its users, and being able to assist folks in working through this process is extremely gratifying to me.” GROUNDBREAKING SECURITY CLEARANCE EBOOK A ONE-STOP KNOWLEDGEBASE
Today’s economy is one of the most difficult times in recent history to find work, and many people are not even making use of their college degrees as related to employment! The number of people unemployed is staggering, and the overall lasting impact on our nation as a whole is, I believe, still not completely understood. There is hope, however.

President Obama plans on hiring 270,000 people for federal jobs. Many of those positions will require a security clearance. These jobs will become available in varying fields, and encompass all types of skills sets. The war on cyber crime has been declared, but our country is facing a shortage of computer professional holding valid security clearances,

Federal jobs, as I am sure you know, provide an opportunity for a solid career path complete with its own set of benefits and rewards that are becoming less and less common as small business America is forced to spend less and less money on these things for its employees in a tough economy. As I mentioned, most of the federal jobs that will be available for your students will require a security clearance of some type. For those with the skills to obtain a high-paying or advanced position, higher and higher levels of security clearances will be needed. This is nothing new, but with the changes that have taken place since the Patriot Act was enforced, the process is quite complex. Many people are discouraged by this and end up taking jobs elsewhere as a result when they could be quite successful if they could just get past that initial phase of getting the security clearance.

For the past 20 years, I have been walking people through this process and helping them get on the right path to security and success. My company, Security First and Associates, has assisted individuals, government contractors, and entire companies in getting the security clearances they needed in order to get the job, be awarded that contract, or be able to continue working as a vendor to the federal government.

Security First & Associates. has compiled a comprehensive Security Clearance E-Book Guide with facts and FAQs including the following topics:

ï Security Clearance Levels

ï Security Clearance Process

ï Security Clearance Denial

ï Security Clearance Termination

The FAQs included in this document are questions clearance candidates have asked and we hope that they will assist you as you seek to obtain, maintain or re-activate a security clearance.

The security clearance process includes an alphabet soup of acronyms; in order to help you better understand the process, we have included a definition list of acronyms as well as a Glossary of Terms at the end of this handbook.

Everything You Need to Know About the Security Clearance Process, But Are Afraid to Ask is now available for $19.95, from my website, amazon & lulu.

Security First Associates

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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Who said that I sweat cash?

Someone out there has told my kids a lie, and when I find them, I might fling them off the top of Table Mountain.  Seriously, I do not sweat cash.  It does not come out of my pores or other body orifices.  It comes out of my bank account, which is currently breathing heavily and sweating profusely.  My kids seem to believe that I sweat cash.  This is obviously a nasty rumour started by somebody out to get me.  Let's go and see a movie - IT COSTS MONEY!  Which restaurant are we eating at - IT COSTS MONEY!  And of course the classic.  "My new second-hand couch is dusty.  Let's just buy a vacuum cleaner."  Kids really have no idea, do they?  The shit we have to eat, crap we have to put up with to get our monthly paycheck which they plan to spend as rapidly as possible. 
One would think that a year living in res and going to hotel school would have taught my son how to budget and the value of money.  No way.  Looking through his bank statements, he takes on average 1-4 days to spend his monthly allowance, and then is broke for the rest of the month.  And now, he's moved into an apartment.  God help us all!  I have to say, with two daughters and a son, girls definitely are better able to budget.
It's hard to believe this holiday is nearly over and I don't really feel as if I accomplished much.  I wanted to work on my new book, read a ton of books, relax and do some school prep for the new year.  I haven't managed to do any of those, rather spending my time driving from Hermanus to Cape Town and back.  Quickly catching up with family and friends, racing around getting stuff sorted for Tony, buying some school supplies, beads for my friend Marina, never actually spending enough time in one place to accomplish anything.  In a way, I'm eagerly anticipating our trip back.  At least I'll be sitting still in the driver's seat.
Next week I've promised myself a week of writing and reading.  No rushing anywhere.  I've already ransacked the store with all our boxes and got a car full of stuff to bring back to Tanzania.  At least, we'll have more of our clothes.  Wearing the same things every third day wore the clothes down completely.  Although Tony's apartment is set up, he still wants to stay with me until his classes start.  He obviously doesn't realise that the money sweating mechanism has been turned off permanently due to a malfunction from over-use.  It basically burnt out.
We'll be leaving here the 16th or so of July.  The plan is to drive to Bloemfontein, then Johannesburg, Messina, Beit Bridge into Zimbabwe.  Go to Masvingo and check out the Great Zimbabwe Ruins, up to Kariba, cross into Zambia, then cross into Malawi, along the lake, then into Tanzania and then home.  I reckon the whole trip should take about ten days.  We'll probably stay at more budget type places this time around, because of a greatly depleted cash supply  Any donations from a caring public would be welcome!
Have a great weekend!