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What Tourists Don’t See in Zimbabwe

The bread basket is empty

sunny 80 °F

Zimbabwe used to be the referred to as the bread basket of Africa, sadly the basket is now empty. Due to complicated politics and the devaluation of the Zim currency in 2000, the economy runs on the US dollar. So if you were a pensioner here, saved money all your life waiting to retire, your savings became worthless practically overnight. Slightly less than one quarter of the population is employed and there is corruption rampant from top to bottom. No middle class left, just the wealthy and the those just trying to get by.
We hopped through the Harare airport, so we didn’t see the town or people. But met a family on the plane who told us waiting for gas for the car for ten or twelve hours was not unusual. That was the first hint. We also knew that all payments or tips should be make in the US dollar.
The camps we stayed at were so remote we did not experience the village life.
But in Victoria Falls we were followed by those trying to sell some crafts or their former currency as a souvenir, the bills were high numbers like 10 million or higher!
Everyone took no for an answer, they tried hard but did leave us alone if we did not engage.
But yesterday we were in the local butcher shop buying the best Biltong I ever tasted, and a women came to the register with a small packet of meat. She asked how much and then asked the owner if he could cut it in half. I was outside, but Allan told the owner he would buy it for her. He asked the price and was told it cost one dollar. He turned to the women and said go get some more, she looked a bit confused, but finally took one more. He said , “ No, get more than that.” She came back with half a dozen or so and gave him many blessings.
I had no idea what happened, but observed a women practically skipping out of the store, spinning her plastic bag to close it tightly.
It is just a glimpse of life in Zimbabwe. No food, no money and no meds in the hospitals.
These are truly beautiful people and the country beautiful beyond belief. I can only hope that after seeing the turn around in Rwanda that there may be hope for the people in Zimbabwe.

Posted by Lauriesam 09:13 Archived in Zimbabwe Tagged #culture #africansafari #africanadventure #gamedrives #lovetotravel #adventuretravel #africa #zimbabwe

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