Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Zimbabwe Billboard Smorgasbord

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A man changes a billboard in Harare, Zimbabwe, for Spar Grocery Stores.

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Every time I drive past this Nando's ad, it makes me smile.
Although, it's hardly as controversial as a previous ad by the South African chain.
The massive overreaction to this ad had people threatening Nandos workers in Zimbabwe resulting in Nandos pulling the ad in Zim.
Here's the ad:

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Zimbabwe is heading into election season.
This billboard was by the Constitutional Select Committee (COPAC) promoting the 16 March 2013 referendum vote on a new constitution.

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There's a ridiculously large amount of ads for celebrity fragrances.  It feels really random. I suspect that
Usher, Justin Timberlake, Julia Roberts, etc., etc., have no idea they are flashed across Harare!

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Air Zimbabwe, Zim's national airline, has gone under a few times, is trying to make a come back.
It's flying a few routes but millions and millions under, still fighting its struggle against financial troubles.

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A billboard somewhere between Harare and Victoria Falls.
It seems a bit one sided in its target audience for the upcoming general elections....

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Maybe this billboard was trying to make up for the previous billboard's clear gender bias?
(Translation of the Shona: Wives! Champion peace!!)
So, basically, men must vote and wives are relegated to championing peace,
vice being encouraged to participate also in the political process.
Peace and free and fair elections are everyone's responsibility and right.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Last Resort: Drifters Backpackers Lodge

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En route back to Harare from a lovely visit to Zimbabwe's Chimanimani Mountains, we stopped at Drifters.
(This is the view from the Rogers' home.)

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Drifters is a backpackers' lodge, the focal point of the Douglas Rogers memoir The Last Resort.

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Rogers writes of his parents' experiences running Drifters as white Zimbabweans during the more tumultuous years of Zimbabwe history and how they adapt and fight to survive in the land they love.

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Isn't it a lovely spot, tucked away near to Mutare?

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The Last Resort is one of the better memoirs I've read on Zimbabwe.  It takes a heavy topic, the violence of the 2008 elections, the land grabs and harassment of white Zimbabweans, and the daily struggle for all Zimbabweans to survive during its astronomically failed economy, and touches it both with humor and insight.

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The bar which plays a prominent role in the memoir.

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Would certainly recommend the memoir and it was so interesting to see Drifters after having read it.

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These buildings had been erected by construction crews working on the roads nearby.  They were already months over their stay and the Rogers suspected no payment was in sight.

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It was interesting to meet Lyn and Ros Rogers and to see how humorously their son had captured them in the book.

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Romeo---read the book to learn who he is!---opened this nearby butchery, Romeo's Meat Market.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Chimanimani's Bridal Veil Falls

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After this lovely hike (including a visit from a tarantula!!), we came to Bridal Veil Falls.

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The falls are in the hills six kilometers outside the Chimanimani village in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe.

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Our winter visit meant cold, cold crystal clear water.

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A serene reminder of the beauty tucked into all of Africa's corners.

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The falls' clear pool.

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Chimanimani is one of the beautiful spots in Zimbabwe,
so different than what most think Africa 'should' look like.

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Just beautiful.

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The falls were named for its resemblance at rainy season to a bride's veil.
So different from the last waterfall (Victoria Falls!!) I visited in Zimbabwe.
So different from the last hike I took to a waterfall in Chimanimani.

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The hike into the Chimanimani Park and up to the falls is well worth the effort-- and it's a relatively easy hike.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Return to the Eastern Highlands

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Recently I returned to the lovely Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe.
Wouldn't you just love to have this view?

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While (re)visiting the cozy Frog and Fern Cottages, we hiked into Chimanimani once again.

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The Chimanimani Mountains are just so stunning and form part of the boundary between Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

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We may have paused in our beautiful hike to freak out at THIS exact point. 
Um, seriously, a tarantula crossing the path? Holy moly, freak out!

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Here's another shot of the guy. Definitely do not like spiders, definitely do not like large, dangerous, hairy ones...

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We hiked up toward Bridal Veil Falls and the scenery was just so lovely.

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Reaching the falls area.

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Sneak peek of the next post: the Bridal Veils Falls!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Chilojo Cliffs

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The Chilojo Cliffs in Gonarezhou National Park just take your breath away.

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The cliffs rise 558 feet from the south bank of the Runde River.

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Due to visiting this corner of Zimbabwe after the rainy season ended, there are only hints of the Runde River.

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The cliffs are red sandstone and just stunning.

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The trip to visit Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge was well worth it for these cliffs alone!

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Gonarezhou National Park is part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park
(with South Africa's Kruger and Mozambique's Gaza).

Friday, June 7, 2013

A River Runs Through Gonarezhou

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Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe is dominated by the lovely Save River.

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Aren't these clouds beautiful?  Zimbabwe continues to astound me with some of the most wonderful clouds I've ever seen.

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The sun setting over the Save River.

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Sneaking in a view of the Runde River from Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge.

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The Save River in Gonarezhou.

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The remnants of the rainy season can be seen in the river bed.

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Each day we were in Gonarezhou, we could visibly see the water lowering as we entered the dry season.

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Oh, be still my heart, how I love Zimbabwe's clouds.

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