Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Signs of Zimbabwe (the southern Africa Edition)

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One of Africa's most amusing and endearing features?  Its (creative) signs!
Like this one from Boulders, South Africa--I had no idea penguins bite and I admit it sent me into giggles.
(Check out the penguins here.  Be ready for an avalanche of ridiculous adorableness.)
(For the Senegal/West Africa edition of creative signs: go here!)

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All over Zimbabwe are animal crossing signs (elephants, wild dogs, cattle...).

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I was so shocked to see the actual animal being warned about near the sign!

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Nothing like an (inappropriate) pun to sell some eggs in downtown Harare.

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Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe -- I think it should more correctly warn you that the deadly hazards are lions, elephants, etc...

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The ex-pat in me found this one particularly amusing in a very junior high type of reaction.

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Cape Town, South Africa -- totally made my morning when I drove past it.
Nothing like a Chuck Norris reference to make you chuckle.

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Well, well, Gaborone, this is a bit risqué! Apparently Botswana has a certain type of humor. 

Nandos, the South African chicken food chain, has a history of pushing boundaries in its advertising.
It aired a commercial called "Last Dictator Standing" (see video below)
that was never aired in Zimbabwe after Nandos workers in Zimbabwe began receiving death threats.

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During Zimbabwe's presidential elections, I thought this was one of the more clever ads.
It shows the leaders of the MDC-T opposition party examining the election manifesto of ZANU-PF, the ruling party of Robert Mugabe.

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Approximately 30 feet away from this sign was an entire braiding extravaganza in Gaborone with approximately 20 woman getting their hair done.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Snapshots from the Road: the Combi Edition

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"Cash Money"

Africa's full of such incredibly creatively decorated public transportation.
Welcome to the Zimbabwe edition--a tiny peek!

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This one made me laugh right aloud in Harare. Why?  It didn't stop with naming itself "Consuming Fire"....

 photo 13Combi-tiaphotoblog_zps692255c5.jpg also made sure you knew the devil is a liar!

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While on a road trip somewhere on the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road, I ran into the Delta Force.
I imagine it's not the Delta Force....and I imagine lots of creative reasons why this would be the name of choice in Zimbabwe!

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While the name "Amazing Grace" was quite normal, I was always amazed (and usually laughing) at the creative ways the combis get packed!

A major difference from some other African countries? Zimbabwe's combis were rarely decorated other than an image and the name.
Soooo different from places like Senegal where the car rapides were works of art!

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Okay so maybe not a combi, but I couldn't resist adding some snapshots of life around Harare.  I love the man just casually leaning to the side.

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Typical bar and restaurants scattered every few kilometers in Zimbabwe, often in the middle of nowhere (or so it seemed).

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Harare recycles!  Who knew?!

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Passing through one of Zimbabwe's small towns (I unfortunately can't remember which one this was--possibly Kwekwe?)  

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Zimbabwe Traffic Smorgasbord

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Traffic starting to build up in Harare behind a tractor.
Harare is a wonderful mix of rural and urban, changing from block to block. 
Bet you didn't think this was in the city proper!

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Living in Africa can mean some interesting traffic experiences for ex-pats.
Sometimes trying to get anywhere can be very....well, frustrating! It is always an adventure.
Vehicles going in multiple directions, people hanging out of vehicles, and naturally a truck barreling toward you.
(Patience and a good sense of humor gets me through it!  It's definitely the biggest culture shock in Africa for me.)

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And an aspect of Zimbabwe I hadn't guessed? 
The amount of people who film the procession for a wedding celebration---outside the window!

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I've seen some crazy things in traffic all over Africa but possibly the most endearing and scariest of all? 
The amount of people who ride in the back of vehicles. For an expat, we immediately think seat belts! car seats! etc!
While it seems a little dangerous (and scary!) to me, it is also such an endearing aspect of many African cultures: the community aspect of helping one's neighbor get somewhere so of course he'll be offered a lift.

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One of my favorite things of Africa?
Its street vendors, especially when they get creative. Every day these guys sell their flags, their sports balls, and swimming pool toys.
Makes me think of this guy, my favorite type of Senegalese street vendor.

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And what do you do when you see 20+ minutes of waiting at each repaving construction site in Mutare?
Wisely sell the hot, disgruntled people stuck in traffic cold soda! Brilliant.

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Why yes, let's just haul a trunk full of skulls of assorted animals.
Thank you, Gaborone, Botswana, for this gem!

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There is something always burning in Harare.
It took me awhile to get used to the raging fires at night that people set, often to burn trash, that then just go left unattended.

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