GOOD BYE BULAWAYO AIRPORT
- 7/ 11/ 2004 <--Prev : Next-->
I have never been good at change.... I know it is necessary ..... but
give me the old and the familiar any day.
Take the dear old Bulawayo Airport .. or rather the Joshua Nkomo
Airport .... its just always been there...and now it is being
demolished for something bigger, grander, more international, just what
the country needs right now with our over abundance of tourists and our
two flights a day !! The only foreign visitors we get at the moment
are people who are coming to shoot our animals. (That's apart from our
offspring who are all foreign exiles too now ) .
Why am I sad I ask myself ? For years now the Bulawayo Airport has been
tatty, dilapidated, and run down. The phones haven't worked for ages,
the tea room has not seen a decent glass, or a diet coke in years, but
it was always the most friendly little airport in the whole world.
And that dear familiar old veranda has always made up for all the other
One would watch ones loved ones depart through that inefficient
makeshift wooden customs and immigration area into the departure lounge
and then rush upstairs to wave goodbye.
In which other large airport in the world is that possible ? How many
yellow ribbons have been waved enthusiastically over the balustrade of
that veranda, how many welcoming cheers and shrieks have been shouted
to the passengers as they climbed down the stairs of the planes just
meters away from their families.
The aeroplanes at the Bulawayo airport sometimes parked so close to the
folks on the elevated veranda that often the glasses and bottles were
even blown off the table by the wind from the aeroplane's engines !!
How many tears have been shed as loved ones were waved across the
tarmac leaving the country, going to university, going on army call up
We will always remember with fondness and horror combined, those
ancient old Viscounts which have now been replaced with the 747s and
the South African "puddle hoppers" which now grace our tarmac once or
twice a day.
That veranda must have seen some sights in its day. And it is not loved
because of it's ambience trust me. Cold grey cement, chipped tables and
chairs, no roof, torrents of rain in summer, often stinking hot, and in
winter it is colder and windier than the arctic circle !!
But now that they are building a new airport will it ever be the same
again ? We will sorely miss it !! But then maybe the plans for the new
airport will include a similar little veranda and history can continue,
who knows ?