While we were in Africa during 2008-09 we felt it necessary to make a trip to Zimbabwe to see how friends are making it as the country struggles to reestablish itself after a complete social and economic meltdown. Things were somewhat better than our last visit in 2007. The noticeable difference-food on the shelves and bread no longer costs $2.00US, a Zimbabwean’s monthly salary. The local currency presently being used in Zimbabwe is the US dollar. While Mugabe continues to blame the West, his coalition partner Morgan Tsvangirai is on a drive to restore full ties with Western governments that are crucial for financial aid to fix the battered economy.
Our time was with our friends, the Pennys, was truly a blessing. It was the Easter holidays so many of their relatives from the rural areas, and children who were away at school, returned to the family home in Harare to be together. It was a full house with no running water and sporadic electricity, but the wonderful time together made up for any inconvenience.
The Pennys are members of the Salvation Army church which was having a huge gathering, a type of old time camp meeting. Members came from all over Zimbabwe and camped on the grounds of a rural school. It was a week-end of singing, teaching, and reaching out to the surrounding villagers. We also traveled to Chinhoyi, a farm town in one of the “hot zone” of farm invasions. After visiting and encouraging friends there, Cliff and I drove to Lake Kariba, a huge lake build by damming up the Zambezi River. It is very beautiful area and Zambia is just a short distance across the border. During better days in Zimbabwe, it was a wonderful tourist destinations. There were lots of animal and miles of water for sailing. Presently the area is struggling to make a comeback but the beauty of Lake Kariba is unsurpassed.